A new decade of medical air transport in north central Wisconsin has been ushered in with the addition of Ministry Health Care’s Spirit Medical Transportation’s new Eurocopter EC145 helicopter.
The aircraft arrived at the Spirit base at Saint Joseph’s Hospital recently, and pilots are currently undergoing flight training. The EC145 replaces the Ministry’s venerable Bell-222 and is expected to enter into service during the second part of 2010.
The EC145 provides the largest cabin size in its class, which allows for maximum flexibility and configuration options. It has become the aircraft choice for many missions, particularly EMS, because of its high-set main and tail rotors, rear-loading clamshell doors, large cabin, extra payload capacity, unmatched visibility and additional safety features.
The EC145 is equipped with state-of-the-art avionics and can be flown single-pilot Instrument Flight Rating (IFR). Night Vision Goggles will be introduced after rigorous training for the pilots and crew has been completed.
“We chose the EC145 because we felt it was the aircraft that could take us into the future,” said Monty Gallegos, director of Spirit MT. “In addition to its reliability and enhanced safety features, the EC145 offers an optimal medical configuration for our crew to provide in-flight critical care to our patients. The EC145 is becoming the preferred platform for EMS missions across the country.”
“The EC145 was designed specifically for emergency medical service missions,” added Nils Strickland, pilot with Spirit MT. “Moving to the EC145 gives us all the advantages we enjoyed with the Bell-222, plus the newer technology, safety equipment and the large cabin will allow us to expand our scope to meet the needs of our growing service area.”
Powered by two Turbomeca ARRIEL engines, the aircraft offers excellent performance, a fast cruise speed of 133 kts, (equivalent to approximately 153 miles per hour), and advanced technologies.
Follow the progress on Ministry Health Care’s Facebook page to learn more about the crew and the new addition to Spirit MT.
The Spirit Medical Transportation program was started in 1993 to fulfill a need for rapid transportation for patients needing critical care in central and northern Wisconsin. Spirit has bases located at Saint Joseph’s Hospital in Marshfield, Saint Clare’s Hospital in Weston, Howard Young Medical Center in Woodruff and Saint Mary’s Hospital in Rhinelander. The program offers services to communities throughout the region to help meet interfacility and ambulance intercept needs. In addition to flying more than 600 air missions each year, Ministry Health Care provides more than 2,800 ground transports. The goal is to deliver excellent care to all communities we serve.