As Parkview approaches the 35th anniversary of its medical transport flight program, a new aircraft is enhancing services. “We knew that we needed to refresh the fleet due to the age and usability of the airframe,” Chad Owen, director, EMS Communications and Flight Services, Parkview Health, said. “We started about five years ago looking for a replacement model, and we quickly found that the AW169 was going to fulfill the needs of our program.”

The process for securing the aircraft was a lengthy one, but one that’s paying off now. “It's exciting for everybody,” Kevin Castetter, RN, BSN, CFRN, CEN, flight nurse, Parkview Samaritan, shared. “We've waited a long time, so to have it here and be able to get into it and get the feel and flow has been good.”

Parkview previously operated two EC365 N-2 Dauphin medical helicopters from bases in Fort Wayne (Samaritan 1) and Rochester, Indiana (Samaritan 2). The Leonardo AW169 replaces Samaritan 2 in Rochester and the current Samaritan 2 will become Samaritan 1, based in Fort Wayne. While no longer in regular service, the current Samaritan 1 will remain available to be used as a backup.