By Ernie Over, managing editor, county10.com
(Riverton, Wyo.) – Classic Lifeguard Aeromedical has doubled its staffing in Riverton and has purchased the hanger at Riverton Regional Airport that it had been leasing.
Classic Lifeguard arrived in Riverton one year ago this week to provide local air ambulance services, including a helicopter for emergency on-location transports.
“We’re keeping busy in Riverton and we purchased the U.S. Energy hanger there because it’s the perfect logistical situation for us,” said Classic Lifeguard’s Program Director Matt Stein from the company’s base in Page, Arizona. “We couldn’t ask for a better situation.”
U.S. Energy’s Reggie Larson confirmed the sale of the hanger, although the sale price was not disclosed. He said the Riverton-based company has also placed its jet up for sale. “We’re transitioning from a mining company to to a diverse firm with oil and gas properties,” he said last month. U.S. Energy now has oil and gas holdings in North Dakota’s Bakken Formation and in South Texas.
Classic Lifeguard’s Stein said the purchase of the Riverton hanger indicates that the air ambulance firm, “is not going anywhere.” He said a second full medical team has been added at its Riverton base, which now operates a Bell 407 helicopter and a King Air E-90 fixed wing aircraft. “We just finishing up replacing the landing gear as part of our regular maintenance, ” he said last week.
Stein said Classic is also planning additional infrastructure improvements in Riverton this spring. “We’ll be putting in a new landing pad at Riverton Memorial Hospital that’s much closer to the Emergency Room,” he said. “As soon as the weather improves, we’ll be adding that.” Classic earlier constructed a helicopter landing pad just outside of Lander Regional Hospital’s emergency room.
The air ambulance service was without a helicopter for about a month as its Riverton-based helicopter clipped a power line in the Gas Hills and it received some damage. “We got another helicopter in there as soon as we could, less than a month,” Stein said. The service still operated with its fixed-wing aircraft during that time.
There are three air ambulance services that serve the Wind River Basin. In addition to Classic Lifeguard in Riverton, there is Wyoming Medical Center’s Wyoming Life Flight helicopter from Casper and Rock Springs-based Guardian Air has a fixed wing King Air 90 aircraft based at Lander’s Hunt Field since May 16th of 2012.