Children's Medical Center is growing their fleet of aircraft.
On Thursday, the hospital is adding a new helicopter to their fleet, bringing the total number of choppers to two.
The $14 million chopper is a Sikorsky S-76 C++, a twin-engine helicopter that offers a greater range and higher speed than smaller medical helicopters.
The new helicopter is much larger than the other one, including room for two patients and family members and utilizes two pilots.
“Children’s has chosen to be one of the few transport programs and, I believe, the only neonatal and pediatric program within the United States to fly with two pilots in the helicopter,” said the hospital’s transport services director, Scotti Floyd-Edgar. “This is one of the greatest safety enhancements a program could bring to their community, the patients and families that we serve and our medical crew.”
The dual-pilot system is now used by many medical pilots in Canada and Europe.
The medical personnel on board are employed by the hospital while the pilots are employed by PHI Air Medical, Inc., who owns the helicopter.
The helicopter is not expected to fly to medical scenes, but rather transport patients from other hospitals to Children's Medical Center.