ALBANY, N.Y., November 3, 2005 – The latest and most advanced technology in emergency care has landed in the Capital Region. Albany Med Flight officials at the Albany Medical Center introduced today the new EC135 helicopter. Designed exclusively for emergency medical transport, this helicopter is now available to transport seriously ill or injured residents of northeastern N.Y. to Albany Med’s emergency department—the only Level 1 state-designated trauma center in the region.
The EC135, part of the newest generation of twin-engine EMS helicopters, was developed in close cooperation with doctors, rescue experts, designers and engineers. Special features of the new aircraft include:
· A unique four-blade rotor and closed rear tail rotor technology, making the EC135 the quietest helicopter in its class.
· A glass cockpit, providing quicker cognitive definition when flying and approaching the scene of an emergency.
· Rear loading, which provides smoother loading for patients and safer and easier handling for medical crew.
“This aircraft has an excellent safety record and advanced technology, which are key in providing fast, safe and efficient care in emergency situations,” said Dean Dow, program director of Life Net, the governing body of the Albany Med Flight.
The EC135 replaces the previous aircraft, a 21-year-old BK-117 helicopter that has been used by Albany Med Flight since its inception. According to Dow, replacing the older aircraft will improve consistency and decrease costs, as there will be less maintenance and need for backup assistance.
Albany Med Flight became northeast New York’s first hospital-based around-the-clock air ambulance program in February of 1996. It averages 600 patient transports per year.
Albany Med Flight is operated by Life Net, a subsidiary of Air Methods Corporation. As northeastern New York’s only hospital-based medical air transport program, Med Flight provides a potentially life-saving service each year to hundreds of residents of a 14-county region of northeastern New York and western New England.
Albany Medical Center is northeastern New York’s only academic health sciences center. It consists of Albany Medical College, Albany Medical Center Hospital; and the Albany Medical Center Foundation, Inc. Additional information about Albany Medical Center can be found at www.amc.edu.
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