News

Lutheran Air II’s Maiden Voyage to Wabash County Set

Public reception planned for Monday at 2 p.m.

WABASH, Ind. (Oct. 3, 2013) – The highly anticipated arrival of Lutheran Air II in Wabash County will take place Monday, Oct. 7, at Wabash Municipal Airport, and the public is invited to share in the excitement. An hour-long reception with light refreshments will kick off shortly before the helicopter lands in Wabash for the first time at 2 p.m. After a brief welcome from Wabash Mayor Robert Vanlandingham and Brian Bauer, chief executive officer, Lutheran Hospital, interim chief executive officer, Lutheran Health Network, everyone in attendance will be invited to get a close-up look at Lutheran Air II and meet several members of the crew.

News of the addition of Lutheran Air II to Lutheran Hospital’s critical care transport fleet and the construction of a new hangar at Wabash Municipal Airport was announced at a ceremonial groundbreaking in August. The second Lutheran Air medical helicopter will be based in Wabash at the airport, a geographically important location for patients living in communities that make up the southern and western portions of Lutheran Health Network’s 23-county service area.

In addition to expanding patient access to critical and specialty care, Lutheran Air II is already serving as a driver of economic development in Wabash County. More than 10 new jobs on Lutheran’s critical care transport team have been added, and the new hangar will generate new property tax revenue. Contractors and suppliers from the Wabash area are also working on the hangar project.

The predominantly blue helicopter with yellow and white trim is an EC135 aircraft. The original Lutheran Air, a BK117 that went into service at Lutheran Hospital in 2004, will also be replaced by an EC135 with the same new design in early 2014. Lutheran contracts with Air Methods to provide aircraft, pilots and flight mechanics.

Air Methods is the only air medical operator in the country to reach Level 4 of the voluntary Safety Management System program overseen by the Federal Aviation Administration. To achieve SMS Level 4, Air Methods implemented multiple voluntary safety programs more commonly associated with commercial airlines.  

Visit http://www.lhnmedia.com/detail.php?t=1220 for additional information and comments from the Aug. 20 announcement.
  

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