There’s a new potentially life saving tool on the Pine Ridge Reservation. The tribe now has an air rescue helicopter. Tuesday there was a ceremony and blessing for the new Oglala Lakota Air Rescue.
The Pine Ridge Reservation is reaching new heights with the services its now able to offer to its members. Today, people are welcoming the Oglala Lakota Air Rescue to the reservation.”I realized it’s reality, and now to see it here flying and taking it’s flights, it went into service yesterday, and it’s just exciting,” Pine Ridge district president, Derek Janis said.
The tribe worked with Apollo, which is a medical flight service, to create a medical program and make this possible.
“It’s not only the first for this reservation, it’s the first nationwide, native owned company, so to be a part of that is to be a part of history and anything at all to help nations like this is a privilege and it’s an honor to be here,” flight paramedic, Clancy Henderson said.
“We worked through the process of getting this program set up and so we’re really proud to get it started here,” CEO Oglala Lakota Air Rescue, Wade Black said.
Pine Ridge District President, Derek Janis says crews will now be able to reach people faster than before.
“We had a 45 minute to an hour wait for a helicopter to come in and take a patient so the biggest thing is to have it here ready to fly out within minutes and take the patient,” Janis said.
Making this another resource to help potentially save lives.
“That was always the plan, to make sure we could serve people, serve our people and get better care, quicker,” Janis said.
There are three people that go out on each flight, a pilot, flight nurse and a flight paramedic.