Collier County Emergency Medical Services reveals new, upgraded helicopter

Reporter: Nicole Lauren Writer: Joey Pellegrino
Published: Updated:
Collier County EMS’ medevac helicopter. Credit: WINK News

Collier County Emergency Medical Services will unveil a brand-new medevac helicopter with much-needed upgrades Thursday morning.

One big reason for the new vehicle is the lack of trauma centers within Collier County.

“When patients are severely injured, it is very important that we get them to the appropriate level of care,” said Tabatha Butcher, Collier County EMS chief. “Our closest trauma centers are Lee Memorial Hospital or Kendall Regional or the hospitals over in Broward and Dade County.”

That means when it comes to someone critically injured, time is of the essence. The new chopper looks basically identical to the old one. They just operate a bit differently. Butcher says the new one received some important safety upgrades.

“It provides much more safety for the crew, much more safety for the pilot when you’re flying the aircraft,” Butcher said. “It has some autopilot features that the old aircraft does not have. It also can carry more weight, and it actually goes a little bit faster, which is definitely critical for our mission.”

Collier EMS says their helicopter made 285 transports last year.

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