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