Novant Health on Tuesday announced it now has a helicopter for transporting patients in critical condition to hospitals in Charlotte and the metro area.
Headquartered in Winston-Salem, Novant said the helicopter will be based at Novant Health Rowan Medical Center in Salisbury but serve a 150-mile radius. Novant said a specially trained team, including a flight-registered nurse and a certified-flight paramedic, will be on board to care for patients during transports.
“In a critical situation, especially with trauma, heart attacks or strokes, minutes matter,” Dr. Tom Zweng, chief medical officer for Novant, said in a statement. He estimated the helicopter will possibly save more than 300 lives each year.
Novant also said the helicopter, which has a cruising speed of 158 miles per hour, is expected to benefit rural communities, increasing care to such areas.
The move means Novant joins competitor Carolinas HealthCare System in having aircraft for transporting patients. Charlotte-based Carolinas HealthCare says it has a fleet of planes and helicopters.
In addition to the helicopter, Novant said it already has a fleet of 13 ambulances.