Airlift Texas expands Rio Grande Valley operations with a new base

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Air medical service provider Air Methods have announced the opening of a new base in Weslaco’s Mid Valley Airport for its Airlift Texas HEMS service , which, the company says, will result in faster response times to cases as well as providing inter facility transport for patients requiring specialist care across the Rio Grande valley.

The base opening will be phased with daylight operations only for the first few weeks of operation to allow the crews to build up knowledge of the terrain and challenges of the new area of operations. Meanwhile, base operations staff will use the time to ensure ground operations are operating smoothly.
“Safety is our top priority, and we will always choose safety for everyone on board the aircraft over any business benefit.” said Brandon Ryan, Senior Strategic Solutions Executive from Air Methods. “While you’ll only see us during the day for these first two weeks, rest assured that we are taking the safety-first approach to build the foundation that will allow us to serve this community for many years to come.” Airlift Texas plans to have its Weslaco based Airbus EC130 operating a round the clock operation by the end of June. “We established this base due to the growing need for an air medical base in the Rio Grande Valley to better serve the entire region,” said Kelly Shepherd, Regional Sales Director of Air Methods. “At a time when more than 85 million Americans live more than an hour’s drive from Level I or II trauma centres, there is an increasing demand for air medical services to ensure that patients have access to necessary care centres.”

The fully fitted EC130 will also be stocked with blood giving the aircraft an in-flight transfusion capability. “Having access to blood in-flight is such a valuable resource in our community,” said Shepherd. “With this tool, patients have the potential for better outcomes, particularly when AirLift Texas is serving individuals in rural areas who rely on air transport to quickly get them to the emergency care they need. Administration of blood, combined with rapid air transport, can truly help critically ill or injured patients who otherwise might not survive.”



CareFlite adds NXi equipped Bell 407GXi to fleet

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Helicopter Air Ambulance (HAA) operator, CareFlite, signed an order with Bell for a an IFR equipped Bell 407Xi which will join the operator’s existing fleet of two Bell 429s that operate 24hr airlift capability to critical care patients in North Central Texas. The new aircraft will be fitted with the Garmin G1000H™ NXi Flight Deck suite which enhances situational awareness and reduces pilot workload.

In addition to the two 429s and the new 407GXi, the CareFlite operates a further five 407s dispersed to bases at Texas Health Fort Worth Hospital, Methodist Dallas Medical Center, North Texas Medical Center Gainesville, McKinney National Airport, Whitney, Granbury Municipal Airport, and Burnet Municipal Airport. Since its establishment CareFlite has provided critical care airlift to over a million patients across North Central Texas and Southern Oklahoma.
Commenting on the order, Lane Evans, Bell MD North America said “With CareFlite’s new Bell 407GXi and the two IFR certified Bell 429s currently in its fleet, CareFlite will continue to facilitate around-the-clock critical care to patients across North and Central Texas, Bell is proud to continue to support and provide the CareFlite team with ready and reliable aircraft.” 
Responding Kevin Reynolds, Interim CEO and COO of CareFlite replied Bell has been a part of CareFlite’s mission of ‘Making Precious Minutes Count’ since 1979 For more than 40 years, CareFlite has utilized Bell aircraft to complete life-saving operations to patients in North and Central Texas, and we are proud to expand our current fleet capabilities with the new Bell 407GXi.”