TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) Bryant Quigley has been flying for a long time.
“We have regulations given to us by the FAA,” says Quigley.
But the Bell 429 dual redundancy is by far his favorite helicopter to pilot.
“If we lose one engine we can continue to fly to our destination or the nearest safe place to land,” said Quigley.
Air St. Luke's recently upgrading their bird to a newer model and with it comes added benefits.
“The ability to have two patients back there with us,” said Leslie Schutte, flight paramedic. “So, if we were to go on a scene call and we needed to transport multiple patients, we'd be able to take our whole crew as well as the two patients with us.”
The chopper also includes more space for e-m-s workers to tend to patients.
“We have a nice new stretcher, it's got a wider frame a memory foam mattress that is much more comfortable for our patient,” said Schutte.
Crews appreciate the increased weight limit and fuel storage.
“Say we go to Buhl for a burn patient,” said Schutte. ‘We're able to pick that patient up and then go straight to the university of Utah with that patient instead of having to come back here and get more fuel and then continue our transport with that patient.”
When a call comes in, the pilots have several factors to consider to determine if they're able to assist.
“Usually it's just weather that would stop us from going,” said Quigley.
For Quigley, the best part of his job, is getting the helicopter to remote areas of access like the high mountains and making crucial rescues.
“Thankfully we've been able to go and land in those situations,” said Quigley. “That's felt pretty good and help people out when they're needed.”