ST. GEORGE – The new Agusta Life Flight helicopter for Dixie Regional Medical Center will make an appearance today at the grand opening of the replacement St. George Municipal Airport. The helicopter is scheduled to arrive at 2:45 p.m. today. The public is invited to attend and meet the Life Flight crew.
The helicopter, on loan from Salt Lake City until Dixie’s helicopter is certified in Philadelphia, will officially be in operation this Friday, January 14. More than $7.6 million was needed to bring Life Flight to Southern Utah, and more than $2.3 million was funded from community donations and fundraisers.
Dr. Charles Sorenson, CEO of Intermountain Healthcare, said a lot of changes have been made to medical care in St. George in the last 25 years, including the addition of the newborn intensive care unit and cardiac rehabilitation program. The addition of the Life Flight will bring faster, world-class critical care and emergency services to the area, he said.
The Life Flight crew consists of 4 pilots, 11 paramedics, 6 nurses and 2 mechanics, Jerry Morrison said. Each helicopter can hold one pilot, one nurse, one paramedic and two patients.
The new helicopter, an Agusta Grand, is equipped with a satellite GPS monitored out of Salt Lake City, satellite telephone capable system, fully integrated flight management system, night vision goggle compatible system, retractable landing gear and more, Morrison said.
Life Flight was founded in 1978 and has 840 emergency helicopters – soon to be 841.