In January of 1987, the people who would become the first FlightCare team met to begin their on-site training.
The group consisted of three pilots, five registered nurses, five paramedics and a chief flight nurse. They began an eight-week training program to help them work effectively as a team providing complementary skills in patient care — with nurses offering emergency and critical-care knowledge and paramedics their experience in pre-hospital care.
On March 12, 1987, the team began service with an MMB BO105, a light, twin-engine helicopter made in Germany.
As the program grew, it saw a number of changes. A hangar was built, offering mechanics a climate-controlled environment for maintenance. New flight quarters were built and the helipad was relocated.
After 10 years of service, the flight team said goodbye to the MBB BO105 and welcomed a larger Eurocopter BK117 — a twin-engine aircraft with a larger cabin.
In November 2013, FlightCare partnered with Med-Trans Corporation to provide ongoing helicopter services. That move brought into service a new EC-135 — a state-of-the-art mid-sized twin-engine aircraft with advanced rotor wing technology.
In June 2016, Med-Trans provided FlightCare a brand new 2015 EC-135.
Over the years, FlightCare has provided services for hospitals and EMS agencies throughout northern and mid-Michigan and the Thumb, transporting nearly 12,000 patients — from two days to 99 years old. Although the faces have changed over the years, the flight team remains dedicated to providing high quality, safe patient care that have made the program what it is today.