Baptist Health and Bell 430 Provide Assistance During Hurricanes

October 12, 2004
NBAA - Las Vegas, NV - October 12, 2004 - When Florida was being ravaged by four record-breaking hurricanes during the past six weeks, Baptist Health South Florida air ambulance service stepped up to the occasion, using their Bell 430 to provide assistance in all aspects of the recovery operations. Baptist Health has performed over 100 hurricane-related missions with the 430 since relief operations began.

Baptist Health's medical transport program manager, Johnny Delgado, speaking of the efforts said, "During Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne, we were asked to help with medical evacuations and recovery operation. The aircraft worked like a champ." Continuing, he commented on the extremely hectic last few weeks and the performance and reliability of the program's first Bell aircraft, saying, "There was absolutely nothing required for maintenance. Our mechanic inspected the aircraft at every shift change, and that was it."

Baptist Health chose the Bell 430 because of the "cabin space, flexibility, reliability, and product support offered by Bell Helicopter. It is the best aircraft out there to suit our mission. Excellent dispatch reliability is vital in EMS operations," said Delgado.

Turning to the customer and product support received from Bell, Delgado said, "Our maintenance staff has been very impressed with Bell Helicopter's customer and product support, which proved integral for the hurricane rescue efforts.

"The only name in the game for support is Bell Helicopter. We've only had a couple minor issues, and we have been able to pick up the phone and troubleshoot with a Bell support rep," Delgado commented. "We called our support rep just as he was leaving to go home for the day. He stayed late to work on our issue and resolved it for us over the phone."

The Bell 430 is a significant step in expanding the air medical service for Baptist Health. Compared to the aircraft it replaced, the Bell 430 is larger, allowing two patients to be transported along with necessary medical staff. The Bell 430 also offers greater range, allowing a larger service area.

The aircraft is provided and maintained under a lease agreement with Air Methods, a Denver-based company which is the largest operator of emergency medical aircraft in the US. The 430 used for hurricane relief by Baptist Health is an interim Bell 430 from their operator, Air Methods Corporation. It went into service with Baptist Health in March 2004 until their new Bell 430 could be delivered in October 2004.

Bell Helicopter Textron, a subsidiary of Textron Inc., is a $1.6 billion, leading producer of commercial and military helicopters, and the pioneer of the revolutionary tiltrotor aircraft. Globally recognized for customer service, innovation and superior quality, Bell's global workforce of over 7,500 employees serves customers flying Bell aircraft in over 120 countries.

Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) is a $10 billion multi-industry company with more than 43,000 employees in 40 countries. The company leverages its global network of aircraft, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell Helicopter, Cessna Aircraft, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO and Greenlee, among others. More information is available at

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