At 2:30 pm Wednesday afternoon Carolina Air Care helicopter Tarheel 2 arrived at its new base in Aberdeen.
The helicopter and its crew will operate 24 hours a day 7 days a week from the new base located at the Aberdeen Fire & Rescue substation on NC Highway 211 near the Moore County and Hoke County line.
The Town of Aberdeen has been working hand in hand with officials from UNC to get things ready for today’s big move. Truckloads of equipment and supplies were being brought to the new location while technicians worked to complete the installation of the computers and equipment for the flight operations center used by the pilot to determine if it is safe to fly.
A temporary landing pad was brought in and assembled for the helicopter to use until a permanent concrete pad can be poured in the near future.
The bedroom facilities for the flight crews are still under construction inside of the fire station so a portable camper was brought in to temporarily house the crews on duty while the new construction is completed over the coming week.
The helicopter was previously stationed at Cape Fear Hospital in Fayetteville before being moved to the new location in Moore County today. In addition to the helicopter here UNC operates three other helicopters based in Chapel Hill, Siler City and Goldsboro.
A pilot, flight nurse and flight paramedic will be on duty 24 hours a day at the base. The pilots work 12 hour shifts while the medical crews work 24 hour shifts. In addition two helicopter mechanics are assigned to work Monday through Friday maintaining the aircraft when it is not on a mission.
On hand to meet the helicopter when it landed today were a number of officials with the Town of Aberdeen, Moore County and UNC Healthcare including Aberdeen Mayor Robbie Farrell, Aberdeen Fire Chief Phillip Richardson, and Moore County Public Safety Director Bryan Phillips and many others.