The Aspirus rescue helicopter is often seen flying around Northcentral Wisconsin during emergencies, but being ready for any sort of crisis takes a lot of practice.
For the past few months, area emergency responders have been working together to create a mass casualty practice scenario. The drill required first responders and firefighters from the greater Wausau area to work together to save victims of a large tornado.
Always ready for emergencies, the Aspirus MedEvac unit waited on standby for their call to the scene. The crew then took off from the Wausau Airport, preparing to transport injured victims to Wausau Hospital.
Pilot Mike Gross says this drill helps them work out many problems, including cooperating with other medical helicopters.
The size of the disaster scenario required both the Aspirus MedEvac and Spirit of Marshfield rescue helicopters to work together to care for the injured.
Once on the ground the crew must carefully make their way out of the helicopter to rescue their victim while the blades are still spinning. Patients are then placed on a stretcher and moved into the aircraft for a quick take off to the hospital.
Saturday's training mission was an overall success for more than just the safe transport. The pilot says anytime they can get into the air to practice makes them more prepared for when a real emergency strikes.
The MedEvac helicopter travels across the state, transporting victims to area hospitals. The pilot says they're also prepared to fly to Minnesota and Michigan if needed.