WOODRUFF — Ascension Wisconsin Spirit Medical Transport (Spirit) has added a fixed wing airplane to its interfacility critical care ambulance and medical helicopter transport program.

The plane, Spirit 3, will enhance medical transport services by transporting patients to cities inside and outside of Spirit’s service area, according to an Ascension Wisconsin news release. International Air Charters, Inc., will provide all aviation services, including the aircraft, pilots and maintenance.

“We are excited to add the first fixed-wing base in north central Wisconsin,” said Charlie Kotke, regional manager, Ascension Wisconsin Spirit Medical Transport, in the release. “The airplane allows us to provide the continuity of care for patients as they move from one hospital to another, or for longer transports due to the enhanced range and speed of the aircraft.”

The airplane, a Cessna Conquest II, is a medically-configured twin-turboprop that is based at Lakeland Airport/Noble F. Lee Memorial Field, Arbor Vitae, and can travel at speeds of more than 350 mph.

The airplane has been outfitted with the Spectrum Patient Loading System, which is versatile, lightweight and compact.

“This new fixed wing service supports our mission of meeting the needs of patients in the rural setting and challenging weather of north central Wisconsin when seconds count,” said Ted Ryan, director, Ascension Wisconsin Spirit Medical Transport, in the release. “This essential element adds to our comprehensive approach of providing exceptional critical care medical services in the communities we serve, and beyond.”

The fixed-wing service is available part time to back up Spirit’s two medical helicopters; Spirit 1 and Spirit 2.

The Cessna Conquest II, the medically configured twin-turboprop, is based at Noble F. Lee Memorial Field in Arbor Vitae and will be used by Ascension Wisconsin Spirit Medical Transport. Photo courtesy Ascension.