History

History

History

In 1996, County Rescue Services, St. Vincent Hospital, and Bellin Hospital recognized the need for a safe and rapid means of transporting medical patients throughout Northeastern Wisconsin and beyond.  The EAGLE III flight program was formed and began transporting patients by ground in July of 1997 and by air with a VFR Bell 407 helicopter and fixed wing aircraft in January of 1999. This helicopter was replaced by a SPIFR EC-135 helicopter in August of 2001, and again by another state-of-the-art EC-135 T2+ in May of 2008. EAGLE III received IFR (Instrument Flight Rules) certification in May of 2002 and received FAA certification to conduct commercial NVG (Night Vision Goggle) operations in November of 2004, which are both examples of our program's commitment to providing the latest in safety technology.

EAGLE III began search and assist flights as a community service, not charging unless a patient needed to be transported, in early 2000. Past awards include Director Tom Madigan receiving the Tim Hynes Flight Paramedic of the Year Award, Platinum Program of Safety Award and Operator Safety Award from Helicopter Association International (HAI), Distinguished Public Service Award from the US Coast Guard, and Eurocopter's Golden Hour Award.