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New helicopters coming for Indiana medical flights

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The LifeLine helicopter medical service is starting to replace the aircraft it uses for emergency flights across much of Indiana.

Clarian Health officials on Thursday showed off the first of the new helicopters used primarily for transporting patients to Methodist Hospital or Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis. Clarian plans to buy three more helicopters as it replaces aircraft in its aging fleet.

Lifeline program director Shelly Maersch says the new helicopters will have safety enhancements, with the pilots being able to use night vision goggles. The new helicopters also will allow for rear loading and not vibrate as much.

The first new helicopter will be stationed at Howard Regional Hospital in Kokomo. Lifeline also has regional bases in Lafayette, Muncie, Columbus and Terre Haute.

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