Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth, Texas, US, recently added a new plane to its Teddy Bear Transport fleet, promising faster travel times, longer distances and additional seating. Since March, the Teddy Bear Transport crew has undergone training and proving runs with the Cessna Citation Encore+ jet.
“We are beyond excited about our new aircraft,” said Deborah Boudreaux, Cook Children’s director of Teddy Bear Transport. “With critical children, every second counts and this jet can help us get to the patients faster than ever before.”
The jet can travel nearly 1,400 miles farther in a day than the team’s current turboprop aircraft, and with speeds up to 494 mph, it will get them to their destination faster. The jet is equipped with weather radar, advanced flight instruments, GPS navigation and the capability to transport two parents with the patient.
With nearly 2,500 transports each year, Cook Children’s Teddy Bear Transport is one of the busiest neonatal/paediatric transport programmes in the US. The purchase of the jet was made possible by a generous gift from Clarabele ‘Pit’ Dodson, a local woman who donated $6.5 million to the transport programme to enable it to buy the plane.