HeliWagon announced this week that the company has delivered a new HeliWagon to Duke University Medical Center. The new HeliWagon is located at Duke Life Flight’s base at Johnston County Airport in Smithfield, North Carolina. Duke Life Fight was the first North Carolina hospital based helicopter service in 1985. This is the first HeliWagon delivered to an EMS service on the East Coast of the United States.
“The HeliWagon provides us with a reliable, near maintenance free platform that allows us to quickly and safely respond from the protection of an enclosed hangar without delaying patient care,” said Duke Life Flight’s Administrative Director Henry Ward. “We have purchased two EC-145's to increase our capabilities and in order to protect our helicopters from the extreme heat and cold, we wanted a product that could allow us to keep the aircraft inside, but able to respond without delay to our patient needs; the HeliWagon was that product.”
Ward also serves as the President of the North Carolina Air Medical Affiliation and understands the need for a quick response time for air medical teams and the pilot’s ability to control the HeliWagon also. “With the wireless remote, the Heliwagon allows our pilots and mechanics to walk around the helicopter 360 degrees when moving the helicopter, ensuring that our helicopter does not get damaged. Our team can drive the platform, loaded with the helicopter, from inside our hangar to the take off location in the same amount of time it would take them to walk to the helicopter,” said Ward.
“Duke Life Flight covers a large region in North Carolina. There are mountains, lots of interstates, major universities and a large population in the heart of North Carolina. As the first hospital based air ambulance program in North Carolina, Duke Life Flight has a history of pioneering new areas and new technology. This is the first HeliWagon we have delivered with for an EC 145 also. We are glad the HeliWagon will help Duke Life Flight continue to accomplish their mission.”