Children's of Alabama has enhanced its ability to help sick children, as the US hospital's critical care transport team has added an Airbus H145 helicopter thanks to donations from the Monday Morning Quarterback Club.
The helicopter replaces the previous Bell 407 helicopter, which had been in use since 2012. Jason Peterson, director of the critical care transport team, says the new helicopter will help the team serve patients more effectively: “It's going to mean the most to our patients and our patients' families. It's really cool that we're going to have a new piece of equipment and state-of-the-art technologies for our medical crews to operate in. But at the end of the day, it's going to come down to the ability for our crews to provide excellent care for our patients and their families.”
Among the features in the H145 are enhanced terrain avoidance systems and weather radar. These make it possible for the crews to travel in Instrument Flight Rule conditions, something they previously could not do, being restricted to Visual Flight Rules.
The helicopter has twin engines, a rolling stretcher and rear-loading capacity. It offers enough space for four crew members in the back by the patient, with a pilot and another passenger in the front.
The helicopter is named QB1 after the Monday Morning Quarterback Club in recognition of the club's fundraising efforts which made it possible for Children's of Alabama to acquire the helicopter.
The Children's critical care transport team has been around since 1983, transporting critically ill and injured children between medical facilities across the state of Alabama and beyond. The team's vehicles comprising of ambulances, the helicopter and an air medical jet, are essentially mobile emergency rooms, equipped with the technology necessary to care for the child during that trip.