30-May-2011 Source: HeliHub.com
St. Lukeâ€™s Health Systemâ€™s bases at Twin Falls and Meridian are expected to upgrade their helicopters to Bell 429s in the near future.Â Like their current 430s, these will be leased from Boise-based Idaho Helicopters, and will half the lift-off time offered by the current machines to just four minutes.Â An exact date is not yet known.
St Lukes are particularly looking forward to the rear-loading aspect of the 429 which will allow them to accommodate a full-size stretcher.Â â€œHaving our own stretcher saves time because right now weâ€™re transferring patients from our stretcher to a hospital stretcher,â€ flight paramedic Blaine Patterson said. â€œFor critical patients, one less move makes a big difference.â€
Air St Lukes operates three bases
Between these bases, they fly two Bell 430s N430SL and N431SL along with a backup helicopter MD902Â registered N902SL – all operated for them by Idaho Helicopters.Â Air Saint Luke’s also has a Beech 200 Super King Air, registered N634B and operated by Turbo Air.
Jeremy Parkin – HeliHub.com