ST. CLOUD - Life Link has expanded it's flying intensive care units to the Brainerd Lakes Area.

The new base will bring Northern Stearns, Benton and Morrison Counties into the 15 minutes and less response time range.

Vice President of Clinical Services Kolby Kolbet says this was an important move for people in Central Minnesota.

"Our focus is on providing the very best air medical service possible to the people of this vital growing central part of Minnesota."

The new base will employ five flight nurses, five paramedics, four pilots and two mechanics.

Nate Leback is the Regional Clinical Manager for new the Brainerd base. He says with the move, much of greater Minnesota is able to receive immediate critical care.

"You look at the range of our helicopters and it certainly spreads out over much of greater Minnesota."

Life Link III is part of a consortium of nine hospital systems. .