• 2635 North 7th Street, Grand Junction, Colorado 81501
  • 970-298-CARE (2273) / 1-800-458-3888

Look! Up in the sky! It’s St. Mary’s new CareFlight helicopter!

August 29, 2014

CareFlight_helicopter_webNearly two years in the making, St. Mary’s new Eurocopter AS 350 B3 helicopter is now in service. St. Mary’s decided to replace the program’s helicopter with smaller, faster model. The aircraft was sold and a new one ordered, but buying, painting, and outfitting a medical transport aircraft doesn’t happen overnight, and CareFlight flew a leased helicopter until the new one arrived last week, says CareFlight’s chief flight nurse, Kathy Shoemaker, RN.  The new “AStar” accommodates one patient, travels at an average speed of 140 miles per hour in mountain terrain and has a flying range of 300 to 350 miles. 

The new aircraft is more economical to operate and maintain, says Shoemaker. And although CareFlight’s previous helicopter could handle two patients, transport for two was seldom required. Medical air transport services work collaboratively so an additional aircraft can be called in if there are multiple patients, she says. And that helicopter St. Mary’s sold? It’s still a medical transport but now flying over the deserts of Saudi Arabia.

Medical and law enforcement personnel can access CareFlight services 24 hours a day. Patients may be transported by CareFlight’s helicopter, fixed wing aircraft, or critical care ground ambulance. Visit the Emergency and Trauma Services page to learn more. 

Medical and law enforcement personnel can access CareFlight services 24 hours a day. Patients may be transported by CareFlight’s helicopter, fixed wing aircraft, or critical care ground ambulance.