June 11, 2019
UW Health of Madison, Wisconsin has commenced Med Flight, a project serving a 250-mile radius area with a fleet of three Airbus EC135s and an EC145, provided by Metro Aviation.
“Metro Aviation has a nationwide reputation for supporting hospital-based air medical helicopter operations like Med Flight, and has responded to UW Health Med Flight’s goals for improved safety and quality patient care by offering the expertise and support that will assure that these goals are achieved,” comments Med Flight critical care transport manager Frank Erdman. “We look forward to this new partnership.”
Over the next two years, Med Flight will replace the three single-pilot IFR EC135s and one legacy single-pilot EC145, all provided by Metro, with four brand-new single-pilot IFR EC145es.
“The capabilities of the UW Health Med Flight programme will be significantly enhanced with the addition of the state-of-the-art EC145 C2es, by allowing us to take full advantage of the type's range, payload and IFR avionics,” Med Flight medical director Ryan Wubben explains. “On the medical side, the larger cabin and extra payload will allow us to create specialised teams for individual patients by providing perfusionists, cardiovascular surgeons and NICU and PICU providers and emergency medicine residents.
“Our training mission as an academic medical centre will also be significantly improved by the enhanced ability to carry additional crew members in training, such as the residents in our emergency medicine training programme. UW Health has invested heavily in a low altitude IFR route structure with precision WAAS/LPV capable instrument approaches to critical assess hospitals in our region that are vitally dependent on UW Med Flight to safely transport their patients to quaternary care centres. The full IFR capability of that system will be fully utilised with the WAAS/LPV capable IFR EC135s initially, and then in turn the new EC145 C2es.”
The collaboration will be felt throughout southwest and southcentral Wisconsin; Med Flight is expanding its reach in 2019, adding a base in Portage to its existing bases in Mineral Point and Madison. All the aircraft will receive Metro’s standard EMS configuration and premium paint package along with mission-specific equipment. Each completion will be performed at Metro’s Shreveport-based completion centre.