The aircraft flown by HealthNet are custom-configured for operation in the aeromedical environment. Flown by pilots with thousands of hours of experience, the helicopters connect rural areas with the critical care services available at Cabell Huntington Hospital, Charleston Area Medical Center and West Virginia University Hospitals.
Air Methods provides the helicopters, pilots and mechanics to HealthNet. Air Methods is the nation's largest provider of aviation services to hospitals. They have placed Eurocopter EC-135 helicopters in Charleston, Morgantown and Buckhannon, West Virginia and the Eurocopter AS-350-B2 A-Star ships in Huntington and Bluefield, West Virginia as well as in Portsmouth, Ohio, Prestonsburg, Kentucky and a system-wide spare.
Both of these aircraft types are jet-powered helicopters capable of cruising at speeds in excess of 130mph. They are equipped with a full array of aviation equipment to allow for an exceptional margin of safety. In fact, since its inception in 1986, HealthNet Aeromedical Services has completed over 60,000 patient missions.
HealthNet's helicopters are specially equipped to manage a wide variety of patient conditions. Since the aircraft and crews respond to such a diverse patient population, it is necessary to carry some equipment that would be found on a ground-based ambulance and some that one would find in an intensive care unit.
Some of the equipment carried on board includes:
The flight team constantly evaluates industry trends in patient care to ensure that the equipment carried is appropriate for our patient population. New equipment is used on a trial basis and if deemed necessary, is purchased for use. This affords our patients the latest in medical equipment and technological advances.