East Hawaii News

New Air Ambulance Dedicated at Kona Community Hospital

July 15, 2014, 5:35 PM HST
* Updated July 15, 5:37 PM
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A dedication was held today for a new helicopter providing emergency transport for patients from Kona Community Hospital.

The helicopter is owned and operated by the air-ambulance company Hawaii Life Flight and dedicated solely to the hospital.

The dedication ceremony was held at the helipad at the hospital located in Kealakekua.

The Eurocopter EC135 is a twin-engine aircraft frequently used for air ambulance and police service.

According to Hawaii Life Flight, it is certified for flying over water and under instrument control.

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The pilot and crew meet and surpass FAA flight certification and training for helicopter air ambulance operations, and are also trained to use night vision goggles for increased safety during nighttime operations.

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The hospital’s Rotor Program, which began in February 2013, provides around-the-clock emergency transport as needed for patients from Kona to hospitals on other islands, usually on Oahu.

“The arrival of the new helicopter further enhances lifesaving capabilities at Kona Community Hospital,” said KCH spokeswoman Judy Donovan.

Hawaii Life Flight has a similar program in place at Hilo Medical Center where another EC135 is stationed.

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The Honolulu-based company also maintains fixed-wing air ambulances at airports in Waimea and Hilo.

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