AdventHealth’s Flight 1 program is undergoing a major expansion with the addition of a second state-of-the-art helicopter and, for the first time, a hangar at the Orlando Executive Airport that will allow the program to react faster to calls and fly more patients in need.
For the past 36 years, the Flight 1 program has relied on one rescue helicopter, callsign Archangel 1, to transport critically ill patients between AdventHealth’s Central Florida campuses and from other health care facilities.
Last year, AdventHealth’s Emergency Medical Services transported about 45,000 people, 1,000 of which were onboard the Flight 1 program. The purchase of a second helicopter, an Airbus EC145e, callsign Archangel 2, will allow the program to reach more patients and extend access to critical care.
“Our region is fortunate to have nationally recognized advanced specialty care at AdventHealth Orlando and at some of our other campuses. This second aircraft really expands access to that care to more people in Central Florida and beyond throughout the state,” said Rob Deininger, CEO of AdventHealth Orlando, who is a pilot himself. “Our Flight 1 program can get patients in the hands of some of the best caregivers in the world quickly, sometimes when seconds count.”
AdventHealth’s is the only rescue helicopter team in Central Florida that includes an emergency respiratory therapist, in addition to a flight nurse, on every flight. The new helicopter can also hold more oxygen and carry heavier loads.
Also as part of the expansion, AdventHealth is leasing a 7,000-square-foot hangar to store both helicopters and some of its ambulance fleet and is renovating an adjacent 10,000-square-foot office building for the hospital’s Emergency Medical Services. Until now, the hospital system’s helicopter was stored on the Orlando campus.
Slated to finish construction in 2023, the building will house administrative offices for the Flight 1 program and a simulator used to train team members from the flight and ground rescue fleets.