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Parkview Health adds new helicopter to Samaritan

File Photo: Rebecca Green

Parkview Health is adding a new helicopter to its Samaritan fleet.

The Leonardo AW169 travels up to 160 miles per hour and allows up to two adult patients on stretchers to be positioned inside the cabin, as well as room for four caregivers to have 360-degree access to the patients.

Parkview officials say the chopper offers high clearance of the main and tail rotor blades, and continuous power to heating and cooling, radios and electrical support for medical equipment even when the rotors are stopped.

Parkview’s Samaritan program has been operating for 35 years, with the recognizable Dauphins placed at bases in Fort Wayne and Rochester.

The new Leonardo will replace Samaritan 2 in Rochester, with the Dauphin in Rochester moving to Fort Wayne as Samaritan 1. Each aircraft averages one flight per day, according to the release.

The current Samaritan 1 will become the backup helicopter and be removed from regular service.

Hospital officials also noted the new helicopter will have a different sound than the familiar hum of the Dauphins.

Sweet Helicopters will also be providing Part 135 operations and maintenance of the helicopters, replacing Mercy Health in Toledo.

The FAA’s Part 135 governs non-scheduled, on-demand commercial aircraft.

Rebecca manages the news at WBOI. She joined the staff in December 2017, and brought with her nearly two decades of experience in print journalism, including 15 years as an award-winning reporter for the Journal Gazette in Fort Wayne.