$5.3 million grant will fund new Care Flight helicopter

Care Flight lands on Highway 395 in September to pick up the victim of a motorcycle collision.

Care Flight lands on Highway 395 in September to pick up the victim of a motorcycle collision.
Photo by Kurt Hildebrand.

A $5.3 million grant from the William N. Pennington Foundation will pay for a new Airbus H-125 B3E helicopter, REMSA Health announced.

The aircraft will be positioned at the Care Flight base in Fallon Care Flight is a service of REMSA Health.

The grant is the largest ever made to REMSA Health, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization.

The provider said it faces the distinct possibility of discontinuing emergency air services to some of the rural communities it serves if all of its remaining aging helicopters are not replaced in the near future.

“Because the communities we serve cannot afford to lose access to emergency air transport, we turned to philanthropy for major funding,” said Interim President and CEO Barry Duplantis. “It’s impossible to overstate the immense gratitude we have to Pennington Foundation for their generous support of our Care Flight program. Care Flight has transported critically ill and injured patients across the region for more than four decades. We are committed to continuing our legacy of safely providing clinically excellent, compassionate care for decades to come. This grant is a significant safeguard for the future of rural healthcare access.”

Care Flight transports approximately 1,500 patients every year across a geographic region of more than 50,000 square miles.

Every Care Flight transport is staffed by a certified flight nurse and critical care paramedic, as well as a pilot with more than 2,500 hours of helicopter flying time before they join the program.

This helicopter will replace the same, but older model aircraft that is already part of the Care Flight program.

The Care Flight helicopter is scheduled to be in service by November.


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