Star­ship re­veals new hi-tech air am­bu­lance

Central Leader - - HEALTH& WELL-BEING -

The new Star­ship Na­tional Air Am­bu­lance plane may look fun on the out­side – but there’s se­ri­ous stuff go­ing on in the in­side.

It’s a King Air 350 turbo prop that is faster and qui­eter than the pre­vi­ous plane. The ex­te­rior has been decked out with child­like pic­tures of doc­tors, nurses, pa­tients, rock­ets, plan­ets and stars.

‘‘Star­ship has the na­tional pae­di­atric in­ten­sive care unit (PICU) and a ded­i­cated team that can fly any­where in the coun­try at any time of the day or night to treat a se­ri­ously ill or in­jured child,’’ the Clin­i­cal Di­rec­tor of Star­ship’s Pae­di­atric In­ten­sive Care Unit, John Beca says.

‘‘The hi-tech equip­ment on board is a mo­bile in­ten­sive care unit with full life-sup­port ca­pa­bil­i­ties. How­ever, we shouldn’t un­der-es­ti­mate the value of hav­ing a more child-friendly plane on the out­side ei­ther, as this can help re­duce anx­i­ety for the pa­tient and their fam­ily at a very stress­ful time.’’

The plane’s long range ca­pa­bil­ity en­ables non-stop flights to nearly all New Zealand des­ti­na­tions, and its speed (of up to 300 knots) means it has faster re­sponse and retrieval times than the pre­vi­ous ser­vice. The new plane also has the latest avionics tech­nol­ogy, in­clud­ing ‘syn­thetic vi­sion’ giv­ing pilots the safest and most re­li­able means of nav­i­ga­tion day and night. It flies a ded­i­cated retrieval team who are spe­cialised in the care of chil­dren from around the coun­try. These spe­cial­ists help sta­bilise the chil­dren where nec­es­sary and then bring them back to Star­ship’s Pae­di­atric In­ten­sive Care Unit where they can re­ceive the life-sav­ing care they need.

Star­ship Foun­da­tion raises $1.5 mil­lion an­nu­ally for the Star­ship Na­tional Air Am­bu­lance Ser­vice.

While most in­dus­tries are strug­gling, IT grad­u­ates are in de­mand.

Star­ship’s new air am­bu­lance has the latest tech­nol­ogy, with a fun look out­side.

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