DANVILLE - A new state-of-the-art, twin-engine American Eurocopter EC-145 was added to Geisinger Health System's fleet of Life Flight air ambulances.

It is the fifth EC-145 helicopter in the Life Flight fleet.

"For more than 33 years, we have set the highest level of standards for our crew and our program, and we expect the same from our aircraft," said Jerry Splitt, operations manager, Life Flight. "We deliver Geisinger quality care in the air."

From the scene of an accident to hospital transports, the Life Flight crew provides specialized care in cardiology, pediatrics, neonatology, trauma and neurology, for up to two patients at a time. Medical equipment includes advanced cardiac monitors, defibrillators, cardiac pacemakers and ventilators, intravenous infusion pumps, oxygen, suction units and a full range of emergency cardiac medications. Transport isolettes or "incubators" are used to transport premature newborns.

In addition to the new helicopter, a new landing zone was added in Lock Haven. It was conceptualized as part of a class project by Bryce Bason, a senior at Central Mountain High School and constructed in partnership with Anadarko Petroleum Corp. It will allow for better transport services from remote areas of the county including the Sproul Forest and the banks of the Susquehanna River.

Averaging 2,600 flights per year, Life Flight operates 24-hours a day with a fleet of seven helicopters from air bases in Danville, State College, Avoca, Williamsport and Minersville.

Life Flight is a nationally recognized leader in safety, with quality measures that exceed the National Transportation Safety Board requirements. Each helicopter is equipped with single pilot instrument flight ratings, which allows it to fly in the clouds under aircraft traffic control flight plans to safely arrive at a destination in adverse weather conditions, and night vision equipment to ensure a safe flight day and night.