BAN's World GazetteerWisconsin
An advanced aircraft is joining the fleet of US aeromedical transport provider Aspirus MedEvac. The twin engine Airbus H135 helicopter has arrived at the MedEvac hangar at Central Wisconsin airport to begin its inauguration into service. After crew training was completed it officially began operations on 5 December as MedEvac Air 1 when it travelled to its home base at the Aspirus-owned Howard Young Medical Center in Woodruff, Wisconsin.
The H135 is well suited for air medical operations, and the Aspirus helicopter is only the fourth in service in the US. It is equipped with the Airbus Helicopters Helionix avionics suite that provides sophisticated technologies for greater operational safety to improve pilots’ situational awareness. Also included in the avionics suite are a GPS navigation and communication system, traffic advisory notification, terrain avoidance capabilities and synthetic vision cockpit technology.
“In addition to enhanced technical capabilities, the H135 offers increased size, weight and fuel capacity that provides an increased flight range from the current aircraft, which it is replacing,” says MedEvac Air and north region manager Charles Kotke. “It also offers rear patient loading with a self-contained stretcher that makes getting the patients into the aircraft faster and more efficient.”
Before any patient transport began, crews participated in training to learn the new configuration of the aircraft and undertook crew resource management and a course on enhanced night vision goggle utilisation.
“It is important that the crews become comfortable operating in the new environment to provide the best level of care to our patients,” says Kotke. “With the new cabin being much larger, it allows the flight crews better direct access to the patient during the flight to provide emergency care.”
In tribute to its home base in Woodruff, Wisconsin, the Aspirus MedEvac Air 1 has the tail number N240HY; 240 is the Maple Street address of the medical centre and HY is for philanthropist Howard Young.
Aspirus MedEvac has a team of over 250 emergency service providers that support 13 interfacility ground bases, two air medical helicopters and 9, 911 bases from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to Portage in southern Wisconsin. The company has been accredited by the National Accreditation Alliance of Medical Transport Applications (NAAMTA) since 2015 and is the first hospital-based programme in the NAAMTA Alliance, as well as the first programme to meet 100 per cent compliance in the inspection process for both accreditation cycles.