Omniflight Helicopters Inc. Introduces Fixed-Wing Air Medical Services Program in Idaho Falls

ADDISON, TX -- Omniflight Helicopters, Inc. a national provider of air medical services, announces that it is introducing a fixed-wing program in Idaho Falls, Idaho, and will open a new base there, effective early February 2009. The service is being launched to augment the company’s current rotor-wing operation in Idaho Falls based at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center (EIRMC). Both programs serve patients throughout Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and Utah.

One PC-12 plane will operate from this base. The PC-12 has an outstanding safety record and is quickly becoming the aircraft of choice in the air medical industry. It is equipped with a cargo door and a spacious cabin, both of which allow for the transport of larger patients and those whose conditions might prevent them from being loaded into a standard aircraft.

The fixed-wing aircraft will be the only one in the region dedicated to medical transports. It brings several advantages to the region including improved availability of service when weather prohibits the helicopter from being dispatched and the added capacity to transport neo-natal and high risk obstetrics patients. Since it is certified for IFR, the PC-12 can fly even when helicopter service is unavailable.

Omniflight has operated in the region through bases in Kalispell and Missoula, MT, which were opened in 2004. The company began service in Idaho Falls, which also services surrounding states in June 2008, when it acquired Air Idaho Rescue. Air Idaho Rescue was founded and began serving the market in July 1990, and since that time, has transported more than 7,000 patients.

"The addition of the fixed wing program, by complementing our current rotor-wing program in this area, will enhance the availability of air medical services transports to patients throughout the Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and Utah region. Our new fixed-wing program affords the area improved availability and an ability to fly longer distances than helicopters; thereby providing patients access to a broader range of facilities," says Robert A. Peiser, chairman and chief executive officer at Omniflight. "We are excited to bring these important services to these areas and look forward to working closely with the region’s hospitals and other medical providers to meet patient’s needs."

The fixed-wing program will be based at 1940 International Way in Idaho Falls, 83402. The dispatch contact number is (800) 247-4324 or (208) 529-6340.

The new plane will be staffed with a registered nurse and paramedic, as well as a pilot. This team will be based at the Idaho Falls airport to ensure rapid response and will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

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