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Published on July 14, 2019

Benefit Health dedicates new helicopters

Benefit Health has dedicated two new helicopters to ferry young patients to its facilities in Cedar Rapids.

The hospital's transport team took part in a blessing ceremony Wednesday at War Memorial Stadium for the two Sikorsky S-76 Ds. Donors helped pay for the helicopters, along with Wal-Mart stores and Sam's Club locations in Iowa and the "Will Golf for Kids" and "Color of Hope" events.

The helicopters will enter service later this month. They can reach any point in the state in less than an hour. And their new engines will save about five gallons of jet fuel per hour over their previous helicopters.

The hospital says it transports about 2,000 patients a year, 1,100 by helicopter. Its helicopter service started in 1985.