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US/Minnesota: Spectrum Aeromed delivers reconfigured A109 to North Memorial Medical Center

10th September 2008 - 00:00 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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Spectrum Aeromed delivered a reconfigured Agusta 109 helicopter to Twin Cities-based North Memorial Medical Center recently, providing Midwesterners who may need flight-for-life or air ambulance services access to an unmatched level of air medical care.

“North Memorial had an important need for a right-hand loading system so medical crews can load the patient in view of the pilot while minimizing the lift required for patient loading and egress,” said Jon Ness, director of special missions for Spectrum Aeromed. “By working closely with the medical teams and demonstrating the prototypes at base locations we could ensure safety and function were paramount with this customized product.”

The contract specs also include a highly innovative and functional articulating stretcher that allows the crew – with one-hand movement – to easily load and unload a critically injured patient and eliminate the need for heavy lifting; a self-contained medical oxygen and vacuum system; electrical power and radio mounting capabilities; a wall mount (Medwall) for efficient storage and access to commonly-needed auxiliary equipment. With the new upgrades, North Memorial’s Agusta 109 can provide basic transport to fully advanced life support.

“It was a natural decision to partner with Spectrum Aeromed, which has provided custom life support solutions for six of our eight helicopters since 1996,” said Bob Rishovd, director of flight operations at North Memorial Medical Center. “Given the nature of our business in saving lives, performance is critical. The medical team needs to focus on providing patients with the best possible care, not worrying about the reliability of the equipment.”

Spectrum Aeromed won the contract from North Memorial Medical Center in December 2007 and Minneapolis-based Aerovation completed the installation, bringing North Memorial’s helicopter inventory up to eight. The Agusta 109 began service in July 2008 for North Memorial, the Twin Cities only major independent health care provider and a Level 1 trauma center.

An increasing regional demand for rural transports via air ambulance and continued high expectations for top-notch air medical services have driven hospitals to re-evaluate and enhance their offerings, which in turn has fueled growth for Spectrum Aeromed.

The North Memorial reconfiguration is one of many recent contracts for Spectrum Aeromed, a leading global designer and manufacturer of customized air medical and air ambulance equipment. Since its 2007 acquisition by Dean Atchison, Spectrum Aeromed is increasingly meeting the health and aviation industries’ demands for highly customized air medical equipment, as demonstrated by the advanced capabilities installed on the North Memorial helicopter. Sales increased nearly 200 percent during the first nine months following new ownership.

“Spectrum Aeromed is proud of its strong partnership with North Memorial Medical Center,” said Dean Atchison, president and CEO of Spectrum Aeromed. “North Memorial’s critical air care services are serving a large and expanding coverage area in the upper Midwest. We are fortunate to be able to work with its team onsite – in the hangar – to develop and integrate the best possible life support solutions.”

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