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Announcing New Air St. Luke's Medical Helicopter

— The new helicopter includes more space for flight crews to tend to patients.

TWIN FALLS, Idaho — Air St. Luke’s recently upgrading their medical helicopter to a newer model, and with it comes added benefits.

Air St. Luke’s new helicopter is a Bell 429.

One of the benefits to the new helicopter is what’s referred to as dual redundancy. This means many aircraft systems are backed up by a redundant system. This is important if the primary system fails.

Bryant Quigley, who has been flying for a long time, stated “We have regulations given to us by the FAA.”

But the Bell 429 dual redundancy is by far his favorite helicopter to pilot.

“If we lose one engine we can continue to fly to our destination or the nearest safe place to land,” said Quigley.

Air St. Luke’s recently upgrading their bird to a newer model and with it comes added benefits.

“The ability to have two patients back there with us,” said Leslie Schutte, flight paramedic. “So, if we were to go on a scene call and we needed to transport multiple patients, we’d be able to take our whole crew as well as the two patients with us.”

The chopper also includes more space for e-m-s workers to tend to patients. “We have a nice new stretcher, it’s got a wider frame a memory foam mattress that is much more comfortable for our patient,” said Schutte. Crews appreciate the increased weight limit and fuel storage.

“Say we go to Buhl for a burn patient,” said Schutte. ‘We’re able to pick that patient up and then go straight to the university of Utah with that patient instead of having to come back here and get more fuel and then continue our transport with that patient.”

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Troy Shaffer
Troy Shaffer

About the Author: Troy is an Air Medical Career Expert passionate about a team approach to improving air medical safety from the ground up. Troy is a former Army medic, Army pilot, Coast Guard pilot and EMS pilot. Troy has taught hundreds of wannabe flight medics, flight nurses and EMS pilots the exact steps needed to launch air medical careers.

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