NEENAH - It's been a deadly few weeks for medical helicopter crews.
Six people were killed and four injured in three separate crashes since December 10. The crashes took place in Oklahoma, Iowa and Illinois but they have local med flight crews thinking about their own safety procedures.
With a multi-million dollar life-saving tool sitting in the hanger at Theda Clark Hospital, it's vital for flight crews to know when to use the ThedaStar helicopter and when they have to just say no.
"We have a matrix score that we use to review throughout the day that looks at weather conditions, current and forecasted and pilot experience both at the program base and with the aircraft," said ThedaStar flight nurse and safety program coordinator Jeff Grimm.
That reality hit home this week with the crashes of two med flight helicopters on Wednesday and a third last month. The incidents have Grimm and the helicopter crews double-checking their own safety protocols.
"Are we doing everything we can possibly do and I certainly believe we are in our program. We have the most advanced technology available in civilian EMS helicopters right now."
While the helicopter can reach speeds of up to 150 miles per hour, the first priority is for the safety of the crew before the helicopter even leaves the ground.
"If we get a flight request our routine team is three people, a pilot and two medical crew and then you have the enhanced operation control center as the fourth person. All four have to agree that we are going to take this flight and if anyone of the four feel uncomfortable for any reason, we decline it," said Grimm.
These crews respond to between 500-800 calls a year and med flight helicopters can make a huge difference when minutes count.
"This helicopter and the crew is basically an extension of our trauma program, they are our eyes and ears out in the field," said Theda Clark trauma surgeon Dr. David Schultz.
Ready at a moments notice if all systems are a go.
The FAA and NTSB are still investigating the details surrounding the three recent med flight crashes.
Single-digit temperatures and light snow are greeting Green Bay Packers fans at Lambeau Field.
A celebration at the nation's first school forest is sending Laona students back to their roots.
Several fire departments battling a shed fire in Abrams.
An armed robbery suspect sustained life-threatening injuries after being shot in Fond du Lac County.
First responders helped ring in the holidays at the 45th annual Howard-Suamico Christmas Parade.
Christmas is just two and half weeks away, and kids and families are getting into the holiday spirit.