ANN ARBOR, Mich. (WXYZ) - The University of Michigan’s Survival Flight program is unveiling a new fleet of life-saving medical helicopters.
In nearly 30 years the program has transported more than 35,000 patients. For the last fourteen years, it’s used three Bell 430 helicopters.
Last Friday, an American Eurocopter 155 flew its maiden voyage. Two more EC 155s will be added to the fleet after they pass inspection.
“Our old aircraft was on the larger side, but still didn’t give us 360-degree access,” said Dr. Mark Lowell, the program’s medical director. “This does, and that could be very important for the types of critical patients that we transfer.”
Like the Bell 430s, the EC 155s will be leased. With all of the medical equipment, they cost about $12 million each.
“I think our skills are probably the best aspect in the ability to save lives,” said Kris Nelson, a flight nurse. “Given more environment, more room, space and accessibility, does nothing but add to what we can offer the patients.”
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