UW Health’s upgraded fleet

Metro Aviation's EC145e, which it delivered to Utah towards the end of 2018
Metro Aviation's EC145e, which it delivered to Utah towards the end of 2018.

Friday 31 May, in Shreveport in Louisiana, US, saw the official commencement of Metro Aviation and UW Health’s Med Flight partnership, in which Med Flight began serving its 250-mile radius service area with a fleet of three Airbus EC135s and an EC145, completed by Metro Aviation.

The partnership will see Med Flight replace the three single-pilot IFR EC135s and one legacy single-pilot EC145 (all provided by Metro) with four brand-new, single-pilot IFR EC145e. These new helicopters will provide longer range and higher payload for the UW Health Med Flight team, enabling them to provide care to a larger geographic area.  

“The capabilities of the UW Health Med Flight programme will be significantly enhanced with the addition of the state-of-the-art EC145 C2e’s by allowing us to take full advantage of its range, payload and IFR avionics. On the medical side, the larger cabin and extra payload will allow us to create specialised teams for individual patients by providing perfusionists, cardiovascular surgeons and NICU and PICU providers and emergency medicine residents,” said Dr Ryan Wubben, Medical Director for Med Flight.

“Our training mission as an academic medical centre will also be significantly improved by the enhanced ability to carry additional crew members in training, such as the residents in our Emergency Medicine training programme,” added Wubben. “UW Health has invested heavily in a low altitude IFR route structure with precision WAAS/LPV capable instrument approaches to critical assess hospitals in our region that are vitally dependent on UW Med Flight to safely transport their patients to quaternary care centres. The full IFR capability of that system will be fully utilised with the WAAS/LPV-capable IFR EC135s initially, and then in turn the new EC145 C2es.”

Med Flight is expanding its reach in 2019 to include a new base in Portage (in addition to its existing bases in Mineral Point and Madison), and as such the collaboration will be felt throughout southwest and southcentral Wisconsin, US. To learn more about the programme, visit Metro Aviation online.