LEE COUNTY, Fla. - MEDSTAR will soon have a new helicopter in its fleet. The county purchased the BEL 430 from a hospital in Portland, Oregon last fall.
The price tag of the helicopter was $2 million and the county spent another million in renovations and upgrades.
Robert Fulton is the county's aviation operations manager and he says the deal saved taxpayers money and time.
"Buying a new machine would have been anywhere from $4-$5 million more and sometimes with the deliver by the time its equipped and painted, manufactured can be a year or more in getting it online", said Fulton.
The sleeker design is in stark contrast to the current MEDSTAR helicopter the county has been using since 1989.
"The room in here is just so much nicer. You have better access to the patient", added flight paramedic Bob Haynes.
The county has been operating with just one medical helicopter since 2009 when pilot error brought down the EC-145 in the waters off North Captiva.