OSF Saint Anthony has received a new helicopter to help keep patients safe, even while in the air.
The EC145 helicopter is manufactured by American Eurocopter and one of four leased by OSF Aviation in Peoria. The aircraft, which will serve as a Lifeline medical air ambulance, can hold up to two patients and four personnel that includes the pilot and members of the medical team.
"It's huge," OSF Chief Flight Nurse Kim Jerie said. "Not only is the safety feature great for our patients, but it's a great thing for the crew as well because we want to make sure we make it home to our families, too. That's pretty important to us."
Some key safety features of the helicopter include a traffic collision avoidance system, an enhanced ground proximity warning system, satellite weather information, search lights, and a satellite tracking system. The aircraft is also more powerful than its predecessor.
"It's got a lot more power, raw power. I mean, we just lifted here with four people and all our medical equipment, went straight up without hitting max power," OSF Flight Paramedic Jed Baehr said.
OSF Saint Anthony unveiled the helicopter on Wednesday during an event that included a blessing of the aircraft.
Tune into 13 News at 5 & 6 for a peek at the helicopter in action.
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