Mercy Flights, the Medford, Oregon-based emergency medical services provider, has announced the purchase of a new Bell 407GXi helicopter. The aircraft, which has been acquired to support the growing medical transportation needs of Southern Oregon and Northern California, is expected to enter service by the beginning of February.

Sheila Clough, Mercy Flights’ CEO, said the decision to add the helicopter to the company’s fleet followed an extensive community needs assessment, taking into account input from the flight team and healthcare and community partners.

This was made possible by low-cost financing provided by the Oregon Facilities Authority, which helps non-profit organisations in Oregon to finance capital projects.

“When we looked carefully at the current and future needs of our neighbours and our healthcare partners, it was clear that a new helicopter was the answer to enhance the care and service we provide for our communities,” said Clough. “The special loan rates will allow us to expand our fleet while maintaining affordable memberships and services.”

According to Clough, Southern Oregon hospital systems are becoming more advanced in the level of care they provide.

“More patients are staying in Southern Oregon for advanced or tertiary hospital care. This is incredibly good news for all of us who live here,” she said.

“It also means that the demand for medical transports is changing. We anticipate, in the near future, fewer flights to bigger cities like Portland and Seattle because our local healthcare partners are providing incredible care right here at home. What we need in our region is additional capacity for transport to and between facilities.”

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