Stretched over 83 miles of shoreline and a good sized chunk of the mainland, getting around Dare County can be a challenge, and that’s especially true for emergency medical services. That was the thinking of Dare County commissioners over 25 years ago when they invested in their first Medflight helicopter. 

Over the years, that commitment on the part of the commissioners to a medical helicopter that serves all of the county has been a part of Dare County life.

That commitment was underscored this spring when the county purchased the first Airbus Helicopters EC145 T2 to be used in the country. Delivery was in April, and by all accounts it’s a significant upgrade over any of the helicopters the county was flying before.

This particular aircraft is a little larger, with more range and speed than previous models—actually outperforms similar helicopters from other manufacturers. The price tag is up there—a little over $8 million, although the county is getting what amounts to a trade in credit on their old helicopter.

Medflights are use primarily to transport the most critically injured or ill to a hospital that is equipped to handle the injury or illness.