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Flight For Life Colorado (FFLC), the critical care transport service of Centura Health, and Children’s Hospital Colorado (Children’s Colorado) today announced plans to expand their critical care transport services to include a new helicopter specially configured to meet the needs of even the tiniest pediatric patients and staffed by nurses and respiratory therapists from the flight crew based at Children’s Colorado..
The new aircraft, an Airbus H130 T2, has more interior space than other helicopters, providing a better platform for an incubator and other equipment essential to newborn transport. It will be based in metro Denver and supplied by Air Methods Corp., provider of FFLC’s current helicopter fleet, along with pilots, mechanics and supporting services. It will be dedicated for the exclusive use of the Flight For Life team based at Children’s Colorado and provide transportation to children within its 120-mile service area. The helicopter is expected to take flight in early 2017.
“Flight For Life Colorado pioneered the hospital-based critical air transport industry at St. Anthony Hospital in 1972, and we have worked closely with Children’s Colorado since 1997,” said Kathleen Mayer, director, Flight For Life Colorado. “To work with Children’s Colorado to expand and strengthen our partnership and commitment to the community to deliver exceptional care during transport is most gratifying to all of us at Flight For Life Colorado.”
“The new helicopter, the first of its kind for Children’s Colorado and our seven-state region, is designed to support the special care required for neonates and children. Children transported by specially trained teams, such as those at Children’s Colorado / Flight For Life Colorado, have improved outcomes and fewer complications,” said Joe Darmofal, director of flight team, outreach and education at Children’s Colorado. “Meeting the needs of our families and communities was a big part of our decision to select this larger aircraft, which can not only handle Colorado's high altitudes and hot summers, but is also quieter and more fuel efficient.”
In addition to the new helicopter, FFLC will provide pediatric advanced life support/basic life support ambulance services, and will transport an estimated 4,000 pediatric patients annually among Children’s Colorado Network of Care facilities in the Denver metro area.