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STAR Flight tests helipad at new teaching hospital set to open soon

STAR Flight helicopter landing at the brand new helipad at Dell Seton on 15th Street. (CBS Austin)

It's the sound of saving lives. The STAR Flight helicopter you may see pass overhead as it transports patients. The flight crew as well as the emergency staff at Seton's new teaching hospital practiced for the first time a STAR flight landing to simulate a real emergency before the hospital opens on May 21.

"This is the place you want to come. If you are injured or you are sick. This is the place you want to be," said Dr. Carlos Brown, the chief of trauma at Dell Seton MC at UT.

It's a short flight from UMC Brackenridge high above 15th Street to the brand new helipad at Dell Seton. It was the first flight but it won't be the last one, once the new hospital opens. It is the only Level 1 trauma center in Central Texas serving 11 counties.

"It's really a safety net hospital for the sickest, most severely injured patients in Central Texas," said Dr. Brown.

STAR Flight simulated the transportation to get ready for the real thing. Transporting patients from the 7th floor rooftop down an express elevator to one of the 42 trauma beds.

"It's a safer operation because we've eliminated pedestrian traffic that we have to aware of more when we're landing over at Brackenridge," said STAR Flight Director of Aviation Willy Culberson.

The nearly $300 million facility will also help teach the next generation of doctors and nurses in the heart of the city.

"Seeing sick and injured people get better and go home to their families, that's probably the most rewarding part," said Dr. Brown.

Dell Seton Medical Center at UT will hold an open house on Saturday, May 13th that is open to the public from 1 to 5 pm. It is located at 1500 Red River Street.

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