React Helicopter celebrates 30 years of service

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) – For three decades, the React Transport Helicopter has helped save the lives of thousands of patients throughout the Stateline.

The 30-year old program helps transport patients from Northern Illinois, Southern Wisconsin, and west to Iowa to Mercyhealth to receive care for anything from a stroke or neonatal care. React Medical Director Doctor John Pakiela says his crew of four paramedics, four pilots, and five flight nurses are only part of the group that helps saves patients’ lives.

“Our paramedics and EMTs do a great job stabilizing patients. We do advanced procedures and have some advanced interventions that we can do in-flight for our patients, but it’s a true team effort,” says Pakiela.

Doctor Pakiela says the helicopter runs 24-hours a day and on a typical day they fly out to about two or three calls.