SALT LAKE CITY - University of Utah Healthcare is adding to its AirMed fleet.
A Eurocopter EC-145 was introduced on Friday. The new aircraft offers the largest helicopter cabin in Utah. The other AirMed choppers carry three crew members and one patient, while the new helicopter carries five crew members and two patients.
"We've increased the size pretty extraordinarily and that allows us to work both sides of the patient and give them the best care possible," said Rob Stantus, program manager for AirMed.
Its other capabilities include night vision technology, an aircraft and terrain avoidance system and satellite communications.
"When we selected a new aircraft we were very careful to make sure the aircraft we chose could carry enough weight and perform at altitudes so when we get called to a rescue in the mountains that the aircraft was able to do the job for us," Stantus said.
The helicopter also has the ability to land in high altitudes; Stantus says it can land at 11,000 feet.
"In Utah we need an aircraft that will perform in altitude," Stantus said. "There are very few helicopters that can do the job in the mountains."
The AirMed choppers also take care of medical transports and emergency rescue operations in Wyoming, Idaho and Nevada.