AgustaWestland announced at the Farnborough Airshow on Thursday that the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance of the UK has selected an AW169 twin-engine light intermediate helicopter to conduct emergency medical services (EMS) missions.
Emergency medical services
Haiti Air Ambulance is partnering with Air Methods to bring helicopter EMS service to the poverty-stricken nation on a full-time basis for the first time. Beginning next month, two Air Methods Bell 407s–a primary and a dedicated back-up–will be based at a secure industrial park near the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince and will be gearing up to fly two missions a day or about 700 hours per year.
Inaer Spain has won the tender issued by the Emergency Medical Service of Madrid for a four-year air ambulance contract with an option for a two-year extension. For the service, Inaer will operate an AgustaWestland AW109 and a Bell 412EP. It will provide four pilots, four copilots and four technicians. Both the crews and the helicopters will be based at Las Rozas and Lozoyuela heliports.
A little more than a month after Ontario’s provincially funded air ambulance service Ornge suffered a fatal crash, the Province’s coroner has released the results of a special investigation into 40 Ornge patient transport-related deaths between 2006 and 2012. Operational errors at Ornge contributed to eight of those deaths, according to the July report, which also made 25 recommendations to improve service at Ornge.
The UK’s East Anglian Air Ambulance charity organization and its helicopter operator, Bond Air Services, have been allowed to fly emergency medical service missions at night, using night-vision goggles. The charity believes that it will be able to conduct approximately 30 percent more missions, helping an estimated 300 more patients a year. Special equipment also includes a powerline detection system.
Contrary to the hopes of most French helicopter EMS operators, French doctors have issued a motion calling for the soon-to-be-mandatory second flight crewmember to be a trained paramedic. New rules at the European level will mandate such a second crewmember, for some operations, beginning in October next year.
AFHSH, the French Association of doctors who use helicopter EMS, has proposed using trained paramedics to satisfy new European rules that will mandate a second crewmember for HEMS operations beginning in October next year. According to the association, the additional cost of a second pilot would be prohibitive for hospitals. Therefore, it proposes training a paramedic for those missions when a “second pair of eyes” is needed in the front seats, but only in VMC.
German air ambulance specialist Flight Ambulance International (Booth 1047) has named Abu Dhabi Airports Company’s Al Bateen Executive Airport as its preferred stopover airport in the Middle East region. Under the agreement, Al Bateen will host two Learjet 60s dedicated to air ambulance service and served by German Medical Teams. A Learjet 60 air ambulance can accommodate a medical team, one patient and two patient escorts and can carry critically ill patients between Abu Dhabi and anywhere in the world.
FOCUS on…AIR MEDICAL The latest generation of air medical helicopters is meeting with enthusiasm from both pilots and medical crews. An example, at the AgustaWestland exhibit (Booth No. 5602) is the A109SP GrandNew medevac machine operated by Intermountain HealthCare’s Life Flight out of Salt Lake City.
A new University of Illinois study found that only 1.4 percent of the 27,697 medevac flights it studied from 2009 were “medically inappropriate.” All of the flights were performed by Air Evac Lifeteam, a helicopter EMS company operating in 14 states.
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