The new "rotor wing" helicopter was the center of attention this week in Missoula as Northwest MedStar began services for Providence St Patrick Hospital and Community Medical Center.

According to Marketing Director Nichole Stewart, the aircraft will provide critical care transport for the Montana region and replaces two separate programs run by Community and St Patrick. It replaces the Life Flight air ambulance program.

The Northwest MedStar operation has a base at the Missoula International Airport and will include the helicopter, an airplane and ground support on the ground.

The company has bases in Missoula, Spokane, the Tri-Cities, Moses Lake and Pullman.