NHRMC's AirLink Relocates Aircraft, Announces New Partnership

May 13, 2018
AirLink 1

One of New Hanover Regional Medical Center's two helicopters has relocated within Onslow County to the Albert Ellis Airport. The move will allow AirLink 1 to maintain timely access to the Jacksonville area while increasing access to patients elsewhere in Onslow County and in neighboring areas, including Duplin and Sampson counties.

AirLink has collaborated with the first responders and hospitals within Onslow County for more than 15 years and has had a helicopter based in southern Onslow County since 2012. At the new location, AirLink 1 is 10 minutes away from Onslow Memorial Hospital, Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune and Vidant Duplin Hospital.

“We are thrilled to be able to improve our access to critically ill and injured patients throughout Onslow and the surrounding counties,” said William Powers, IV, MD, Medical Director of AirLink/VitaLink Critical Care Transport. “More rapid access to the critical care resources available on AirLink saves lives.”

AirLink has received the Mission: Lifeline Gold Plus EMS Recognition for the care of patients experiencing a ST-Segment Myocardial Infarction, the most severe form of heart attack, largely due to its long-lasting working relationship with Onslow County’s Emergency Medical Services. Every AirLink helicopter has highly specialized equipment including blood products, laboratory testing, high flow nasal cannulas, ventilators, and cardiac monitors with hemodynamic monitoring systems.

Simultaneously timed with the move to Albert Ellis Airport, NHRMC’s AirLink program is launching a new partnership with Apollo, which will now be providing AirLink’s aviation services.

“Through our new partnership, our AirLink program will begin operating in new helicopters that have several safety enhancements including auto pilot, on board weather reporting, and cockpit recording,” said John Popella, NHRMC’s Director of Critical Care Transport.

AirLink will also now have a dedicated back-up helicopter to ensure continued availability when aircraft require maintenance. The new helicopters began operations on Monday for AirLink 1 and AirLink 2, which is based in Whiteville. Both helicopters can fly up to 150 miles in any direction at speeds reaching 150 mph and are fully licensed to operate in both North and South Carolina.