The Kalispell Regional Medical Center is still using a 17-year-old helicopter to carry out air ambulance transport. The helicopter operates under the hospital’s ALERT (Advanced Life Support and Emergency Rescue Team). And now the hospital is expressing their intention to purchase a new helicopter by the summer of 2017 to replace the aging helicopter.
High Maintenance and Repair Costs for Old Helicopter
According to statements made by Tagen Vine, who’s with the Kalispell Regional Medical Center, the ALERT helicopter needs frequent and expensive maintenance due to its old age. In 2016 alone, the helicopter was grounded for 105 days because it needed either maintenance or repairs. And their expenses on this amounted to about $200,000.
A new helicopter will cost them approximately $4million. But there will be lower maintenance and repair costs. This means the hospital will be able to carry out crucial emergency transport service more efficiently. With the new helicopter, the hospital intends to improve the quality of service they provide.
New Air Ambulance Transport Helicopter to Prevent High Air Ambulance Fees
The Kalispell Regional Medical Center’s air ambulance helicopter is nonprofit and serves the Northwest Montana region. Since the ALERT helicopter is frequently down for repairs, the hospital often leases helicopters from private services. And this results in high air ambulance costs, which they plan to prevent with the help of a new helicopter.
In addition to the high lease costs, the need for a new air ambulance transport helicopter arose due to the new rules implemented by the Federal Aviation Administration. Although their current ALERT helicopter meets the new regulations, the hospitals leased from private services do not. This means if their helicopter is down for repairs, they won’t be able to provide any sort of service to patients in need.