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There's a new medical helicopter flying patients over Central Virginia

Posted at 5:22 PM, Apr 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-21 18:01:40-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- It takes many resources to help people involved in crashes or health emergencies. Now, some Central Virginia hospitals are getting some extra support to help those in need of emergency care.

Chippenham Hospital recently acquired a new medical helicopter.

"We've got a level one trauma program that we're growing here," Dr. William Lunn, CEO of Chippenham and Johnston-Willis Hospital, said. "This month, we've been averaging about one to two flights a day."

When Air Care Eagle went operational on December 1, it had a call for service that same day. The need for more medical helicopters has grown as the population in Central Virginia has grown.

"We have seen our community grow and the populations been growing, especially south of the river," Lunn said.

Medical helicopters operating in Central Virginia include LifeEvac tied to VCU Medical Center and the Virginia State Police Med-flight, the first medical helicopter serving Central Virginia.

In 2020, it ran 585 calls and transported 288 patients within a 60-mile radius of Richmond. Air Care Eagle operates within a 100-mile radius.

"This is parked at my hospital but it's an asset for the whole community," Lunn said who added it will be used not only for crash victims but also for those who suffered medical emergencies like heart attack and stroke. "There's plenty of opportunity for this bird and all the others that are in the market."