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News > ShandsCair air medical program in Florida able to offer enhanced services to region with addition of new Airbus Helicopters EC155

ShandsCair air medical program in Florida able to offer enhanced services to region with addition of new Airbus Helicopters EC155

June 2, 2014

Grand Prairie, Texas – ShandsCair Flight Program, the air medical transport service of UF Health, has taken delivery of a new Airbus Helicopters EC155 specially customized for transporting critically ill patients. The helicopter was purchased from Airbus Helicopters Inc. (AHI) in Grand Prairie, and will be operated by Med-Trans Corp.

The new helicopter was recently delivered from Metro Aviation in Shreveport, which designed and installed the customized medical transport equipment. Metro Aviation received an FAA Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) for a complete Emergency Medical System kit and associated options for the EC155 B1 in December of 2011. “Metro Aviation has been a premier completion partner. We could not be more pleased with the process and final product,” said ShandsCair Flight Program Director Staccie Allen. “The level of care we provide is significantly enhanced by the increased speed and distance we can now travel.”

ShandsCair will base the EC155 out of Gainesville, Fla. With the helicopter’s added speed, 360-nautical mile range and spacious cabin, along with the mission specific equipment, ShandsCair will be able to provide high quality air medical transport service to much of the southeastern U.S.

ShandsCair chose the EC155 for its missions after an extensive review of available helicopters, said Allen. Among the key factors that led ShandsCair to choose the EC155, were cabin size and range.

“What we wanted to accomplish in our mission dictated the aircraft we evaluated,” Allen said. “We are a very unique medical institution in a small university town serving a large rural area. We needed to be able to transport two patients at one time.”

“The EC155 is the right-size aircraft for our program,” said Allen. The helicopter’s long range will enable the program to transport patients non-stop to and from distant facilities, missions that previously required the use of both a helicopter and a fixed-wing aircraft. “It does everything we were hoping to do,” Allen said.

Working with Airbus Helicopters Inc., ShandsCair selected the EC155 and specified the customized interior and medical equipment after extensive consultations with the University of Michigan Health System Survival Flight program, which operates three EC155’s that were also completed by Metro Aviation.

“ShandsCair is one of the nation’s finest air medical transport programs and we are honored that after careful evaluation they selected the EC155 as the right helicopter  to complement their existing fleet and to provide the capability to offer improved services to their hospitals and patients,” said Treg Manning, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Airbus Helicopters Inc.

The new helicopter is the result of a $12 million investment by UF Health to expand the capacity to serve patients throughout Florida and improve hospital transport times. Med-Trans Corp., based out of Lewisville, Texas and recognized as a leading air medical operator, operates two EC135s for ShandsCair as well as the new EC155.

“ShandsCair is recognized as one of the foremost air medical flight programs in the industry, said Rob Hamilton, Chief Operating Officer of Med-Trans Corp. “We very much value our partnership with UF Health and we are pleased to play a role in their ongoing dedication and service to the many critical patients in need of air medical transport throughout the ShandsCair service region each year.” 

About UF Health

UF Health, based in Gainesville, Fla. encompasses the University of Florida Health Science Center – the Southeast’s most comprehensive academic health center – and the Shands family of hospitals and services. With campuses in Gainesville and Jacksonville, UF Health includes six health colleges, six research institutes, two teaching hospitals, two specialty hospitals and a host of physician medical practices and outpatient services throughout north central and northeast Florida.

About Med-Trans

Med-Trans Corp., headquartered in Dallas, Texas, is a leading provider of air ambulance programs in selected locations throughout the United States, focused on establishing partnerships with leading hospital systems, medical centers and EMS agencies to provide customized air medical programs through specialized delivery formats, including alternative delivery models, community based models or traditional hospital-based models. The company’s extensive fleet delivers teams of highly trained medical and flight professionals to patients requiring emergency medical care and transports the patient to the appropriate medical facility. 

About Metro Aviation

Metro Aviation, Inc., based in Shreveport, Louisiana, United States is a worldwide provider of completion services for all missions and types of helicopters and specializes in the EC135 and EC145 with several Supplemental Type Certificates (STC) developed by the company for these and other aircraft.  Metro is an FAA approved repair station, approved Airbus Service Center and FAR Part 135 air medical operations provider at several locations across the United States. The company is privately held and is one of the largest traditional air medical providers in the country. 

About Airbus Helicopters Inc.

Airbus Helicopters Inc. (AHI) is the U.S. affiliate of Airbus Helicopters, the largest helicopter manufacturer in the world, and a subsidiary of the Airbus Group. Airbus Helicopters Inc. is a manufacturer, markets, sells and supports the broadest range of civil and parapublic helicopters offered in the U.S. The product line represents the industry’s most cost-effective, technologically-advanced helicopters serving all markets and missions. The company’s headquarters and main facility are in Grand Prairie, Texas with a large manufacturing and production facility in Columbus, Miss.

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