Air ambulance arrives

Enloe’s fancy new chopper set to take off in February

In February, Enloe Medical Center’s FlightCare crew will take to the skies above Chico in a new $3.5 million helicopter.

The helicopter, an EC130 T2 EcoStar—primarily used in the tour industry—is the first of its kind to be reconfigured for medical purposes, according to an Enloe press release. Compared with helicopters previously used by the FlightCare team, the new EcoStar is quieter and more spacious—allowing the medical personnel to freely work on patients—while an intercom system will help crew members to hear blood pressure, heart and lung sounds over the hum of the rotors.

The cost of the new machine will be offset by the future sale of the old helicopter, along with Enloe Foundation funds and $1.19 million in community fundraising from more than 1,900 donors.