Look - up in the sky!
Well, it’s not Superman per se but it is someone who is there to serve the
public day and night.
Representatives from Superior Ambulance Service showed a bit of goodwill
Thursday morning to its new contractual partner, the Town of Chesterton, by
giving town manager Bernie Doyle, town attorney Chuck Lukmann, and Fire
Chief Mike Orlich a ride in Superior’s brand new Eurocopter EC135.
“It’s a great resource to have,” said Orlich.
The town went online with Superior on June 1 at 8 a.m. There are currently
two 24/7 staffed ambulances the town operates -- one at the CFD station and
the other at the Franciscan St. Anthony Chesterton Health Emergency Center,
Orlich said that ambulance at the firehouse will be replaced with a
permanent one possibly next week and will be on the streets once it is
brought into service.
Having the services of the helicopter is “an added bonus,” said Doyle.
The helicopter touched down and took off from behind the emergency center
coming from DuPage Airport where it is housed.
With speeds up to 150 miles per hour, the EC135 powered by two turbines can
reach Chesterton in 20-30 minutes, said Mary Franco, Vice-President at
Superior, moving at speeds about four times quicker than ground
Like an ambulance, the EC135 is equipped with a fully advanced life support
system and certified personnel. It can airlift critically ill or injured
patients to various centers in Illinois and Indiana and is on call all hours
of the day, Franco said.
Franco explained that one of the reasons for bringing out the helicopter
Thursday was for an instructional day for Superior staff learning how to set
up a landing at the emergency center.
Medical Director for the emergency center Dr. David Hunnius and Clinical
Manager Travis Thatcher-Curtis said that facility will be renovating its
ambulance bay in the near future and afterward will construct some type of
Doyle said riding in the helicopter held a “sentimental attachment” for him
as flight has been a part of his life starting about 40 years ago when he
joined the U.S Air Force.
He operated as a commercial helicopter pilot and flew regularly for a
company in Chicago throughout the 1980s.
“It’s like an old friend for me,” said Doyle.
Also in attendance were Deputy Fire Chief John Jarka and various CFD