Life Link III Receives Part 135 Air Carrier Certificate & Announces Plans to Open New Air Medical Base in Rush City, Minnesota

Minneapolis, MN (April 29, 2020) – Life Link III is pleased to announce that it has been awarded its Part 135 Air Carrier Certificate by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and future plans to open a new air medical helicopter base in Rush City, Minnesota in Summer 2020. Both of these initiatives are moving forward in support of Life Link III’s hospital member-owners and to ensure adequate air medical coverage is available to residents throughout Minnesota, Wisconsin and the Midwest.

The completion of the Part 135 Air Carrier Certificate is the result of a lengthy and thorough multi-year effort completed by Life Link III. This process includes the preparation of extensive documentation and program development, inspection of all aircraft and facilities, and training of aviation team members who will be operating under Life Link III’s new Part 135 Air Carrier Certificate.

“Having our own Part 135 Air Carrier Certificate eliminates the need to contract our aviation services through a third-party vendor,” says Lee McCammon, Vice President of Operations. “We now operate under our own Part 135 Certificate as one organization and team, unified by our mission of safe and effective air medical transport and reinforcing our unwavering commitment to safety.”

It was also announced today that Life Link III plans to open a new air medical base in Rush City, Minnesota in Summer 2020. This new base will be located at the Rush City Airport in partnership with Lakes Region EMS, and provides needed critical care resources to this region, including central Minnesota and western Wisconsin.

The Rush City base establishes Life Link III’s ninth helicopter base throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin. Life Link III’s medically-configured helicopters and airplane serve as flying intensive care units (ICUs) and feature advanced clinical capabilities on-board each aircraft including point-of-care laboratory testing, point-of-care ultrasound, and LUCAS mechanical CPR. Life Link III works in partnership with local hospitals and public safety agencies to transport patients from accident scenes and from local hospitals to those that can provide specific expertise or higher level of care.

“In order to provide patients with the best chance of survival, it is necessary that they have access to critical care no matter where they live”, said Steve Sterner, Chief Executive Officer. “By placing a new helicopter base in Rush City, we are ensuring that our communities will have an air medical resource available in the event transport to a higher level of care is required.”

Both the completion of the Part 135 Air Carrier Certificate and upcoming new base in Rush City will provide additional employment opportunities within Life Link III. With the creation of new clinical, aviation, and maintenance positions, Life Link III will continue to support the communities they serve in alignment with their mission and values.


About Life Link III

Life Link III operates eight helicopter bases that include Alexandria, Blaine, Brainerd, Duluth, Hibbing, and Willmar, Minnesota, and Marshfield and Rice Lake, Wisconsin. A new helicopter base is planned for Rush City, Minnesota in Summer 2020. The company’s helicopter and airplane services provide on-scene emergency response and inter-facility transport for patients requiring critical care. Life Link III’s transportation services are accredited by CAMTS (Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transportation Systems), ensuring the highest standards of quality and safety are met. Life Link III is a non-profit consortium made up of the following member-owner organizations: Allina Health, CentraCare Health, Children’s Minnesota, Essentia Health, Fairview Health Services, Regions Hospital/HealthPartners®, Hennepin Healthcare, Marshfield Clinic Health System, St. Luke’s, and HSHS Sacred Heart/St. Joseph’s.



Katie Burkhart
Life Link III
Director of Marketing & Communications


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