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Air Care History



UNC Carolina Air Care began operations in July 1986 with one Helicopter 24 / 7 and 2 teams; Adult and Pediatric / Neonatal. We are one of the original 6 hospital based Air Medical Transport services to be established in the State of North Carolina.

Lovingly referred to as CAC by many, UNC Carolina Air Care has grown to it's present configuration of two aircraft 24 / 7 and an Adult team operating by ground in addition to our Pediatric / Neonatal team, operational 24 / 7.

Service began from a small office space in the basement of N.C. Memorial Hospital unit with the aircraft parked on the Helipad directly in front of the main hospital. In May 1996, UNC Hospitals opened The N.C. Neurosciences Hospital with a new and expanded Emergency Department in the basement and state-of-the art facilities for the Air Medical unit on the roof some ten stories up; complete with two helipads and on site fueling facilities.

In 1998 CAC ventured into expanding Critical Care Transport ground services by opening a satellite ground base in Henderson, NC and Erwin, NC. In 2002 UNC joined with its sister hospital Rex Healthcare in Raleigh, to add a third CCT unit weekdays and a second helicopter to its operations 12 hours a day 7 days a week operating from Chapel Hill.

In reviewing the ever changing needs of our patients and service area UNC Carolina Air Care restructured its service line. UNC decreased its ground operations for the adult team and increased the hours of operation for the second aircraft to 24 / 7. Additionally UNC looked for a strategic location to place the second aircraft. Having two helicopters at the Trauma Center was less effective than having one aircraft at a remote location. This would bring Air Medical services closer to the community who could best utilize the aircraft in transporting trauma patients from a scene to the closest Trauma Center.

In January 2006 Tarheel 2 relocated to Cape Fear Vally Medical Center in Fayetteville and adjacent to Ft. Bragg. UNC Carolina Air Care provides Air Medical scene call services on the military training range. This is UNC's support to the armed services whose operation of military medevac resources are better utilized elsewhere.

In July 2006 UNC Carolina Air Care celebrated 20 years of Air Medical Transport service to the residents of North Carolina. We look forward to providing many more.

Tar Heel 1 Tar Heel 2 

Tar Heel 1 and Ground Units

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