Flight paramedics highlight the importance of Guardian Flight

For EMS Week, Guardian Flight shows how their role is key for local communities.
Published: May. 23, 2023 at 7:25 PM EDT
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - Guardian Flight in Escanaba helps shorten the travel for time-sensitive EMS calls in the U.P.

Flight Paramedic Ryan Trudeau said Guardian Flight can provide more immediate care.

“So Guardian Flight is uniquely positioned in Michigan. We have one helicopter here in Michigan as well as three fixed-wing aircraft across the Upper Peninsula and in the Lower Peninsula. We’re able to, with the helicopter, get to a scene and provide life saving care where it happens,” said Trudeau.

Trudeau says local first responders are key to Guardian Flight’s success. Many things go through his head when an emergency call comes in.

“We have so many things to think about from the moment we get a call to the end. The first is weather. Second, is this patient safe to transport by air?” said Trudeau.

Base Pilot Supervisor Nicholas Cox says the people he saves are what drives him to keep flying every day.

“Every single call that we go on is, that’s somebody’s wife, somebody’s significant other, somebody’s kid. Really, I want to give the kind of care that I want my family to get,” said Cox.

Air medical responses can play a major role in the process it takes to save a life. Flight Nurse Rue Eady says Upper Michigan’s environment makes this kind of medical response important for local communities.

“Being close to care, close to hospitals, close to the big hospitals where they can do definitive care, can take a really long time, and we’re really important for that,” said Eady.

Guardian Flight works as a team to take off in seven minutes or less in the winter, with less time needed in the summer.