WINDOW ROCK-Eagle Air Med, the premier air ambulance service in the Four Corners region, began basing a new King Air C90b on Aug. 9 at the Window Rock Airport. In commemoration of the new aircraft and base, the aircraft was blessed in the Navajo tradition for service on the Navajo Nation. The basing and blessing of this new aircraft brings the Eagle Air Med fleet to a total six aircraft serving the Navajo Nation.
Johnson Dennison performed the traditional Navajo ceremony at the Window Rock airstrip.
"The addition of this aircraft is just one of the many things Eagle Air Med is doing in their continued efforts to provide the very best in air ambulance care for the Navajo Nation," said Joseph L. Hunt, President of Eagle Air Med.
The C90b, manufactured by the Raytheon Aircraft Company, is a large aircraft powered by twin turbine engines allowing the aircraft to fly 1,800 miles with a cruising speed of over 300 mph, and reaching an altitude of 16,000 feet. With its superb safety record the C90b is considered by many to be the premier air ambulance aircraft throughout the United States.
"This new C90b is like the corporate jet used by the President of the Navajo Nation," said James L. Hunt, Vice President of Eagle Air Med. "Although it was originally manufactured as a luxury jet, once we refit it like our other C90b's, it makes an ideal mobile intensive care unit."
Each Eagle Air Med aircraft is manned by at least one pilot and two specially trained air medical personnel-either registered nurses or paramedics. This allows Eagle Air Med to offer Critical Care Life Support, ALS (Advanced Life Support) and BLS (Basic Life Support) services throughout the Four Corners area. In addition, because of its size the C90b allows for one "ride-along" as well as the patient.
"In addition to a new, safe airplane, Eagle Air Med has based experienced and extensively qualified medical crews and pilots at the Window Rock base," added James Hunt.
Eagle Air Med medical personnel must have ACLS , PALS, and Advance Trauma Certifications in addition to extensive critical care, emergency room and intensive care experience. Likewise, Eagle Air Med pilots must be experienced and well trained including a minimum of 2,000 hours of total flight time, Airline Transport Pilot rated, have a FAA Medical Certificate issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation and are trained specifically in the aircraft type and model flown. They must also have instrument, commercial and multi-engine ratings, are trained in all weather and night conditions, and on soft field and short field take-offs and landings.
"In simple terms our medical and flight crews are extremely well-trained," stated James Hunt.
For more than 25 years, Eagle Air Med has served the Four Corners area and now has bases in Kayenta, Chinle and Window Rock. Licensed to operate in all Four Corners states (Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah), Eagle Air Med has completed more than 20,000 air medical transports and is recognized as a leader in safe and professional air ambulance service.