Metro Aviation takes on northern Arizona HEMS operations

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Metro Aviation has been awarded the operations contract for HEMS operations in the northern part of Arizona. Taking on operations management of Guardian Air Transport, air medical programme for Northern Arizona Healthcare.
At present, Guardian Air Transport  formed in 1985 as the state’s first not for profit air ambulance service, operates from eight bases for scene calls, inter-facility transfers as well as, neonatal transports.

“We are extremely humbled and honoured to have been chosen by the great people at Guardian Air and Northern Arizona Healthcare. We have spent a great deal of time getting to know the team at Guardian Air over the past several months and are excited to partner with another excellent, hospital-based air medical program that shares our values and commitment to safety,” said Metro Co-Owner Todd Stanberry. “We’ve worked very hard to maintain as many of the program’s current pilots and maintenance technicians as possible to ensure continuity, with our collective effort always focused on safety. It is truly refreshing to witness such genuine passion and drive to do the right thing for the patient”.

The transfer of operations management will be phased over the coming months and Metro is in the process of training pilots, technicians, medical crews, and communication specialists.

LifeStar opens HEMS base to serve southern Georgia

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Air Methods subsidiary LifeStar Georgia has opened a new base to serve the southern part of the US state. The base will be home to a Bell 407 fstaffed by a permanent crew of flight and medical staff. The base’s clinicians will also be trained and equipped for paediatric intensive care transport. “We will be able to facilitate air medical transports for trauma, STEMI, stroke, LVAD and ventilator patients to Level 1 or 2 trauma facilities or other tertiary care facilities,” said Jason Bober, Area Manager with Air Methods.

Crystal Hensler, EMS Director with the Liberty County Board of Commissioners added: “Liberty County is excited to have this beneficial resource within our community. Air medical transportation is vital to our emergency missions. We are grateful to have LifeStar 2 with enhanced specialized medical care for critically injured or ill patients.”

Metro Aviation delivers EC145e to LIFE FORCE

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LIFE FORCE Air Medical is upgrading its fleet of critical care helicopters with the addition of a new Airbus EC145e aircraft. It will be the first EC145e in the program’s history and will be replacing the LIFE FORCE 1 aircraft at their Cleveland, TN base.

The new EC145e will allow LIFE FORCE to fly greater distances and provide transport to patients in need of ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) as well as balloon pumps for patients who require cardiovascular support. The aircraft is equipped with Metro Aviation’s EMS and Options STC as well as the Stryker Performance Pro Gurney that allows the aircraft gurney to interface with ground units that have the Stryker Power load system installed.

“Prior to the pandemic, and certainly during it, we recognized a need to have the ability to transport critical care patients requiring more specialized equipment and additional personnel,” said LIFE FORCE Senior Director Robbie Tester. “Our new EC145e will allow us to accomplish these highly specialized missions safely and effectively.”

The aircraft will be operated by Med-Trans Corporation.

Xiangjiang GA to pioneer public HEMS and aerial firefighting with AW139 and AW109 Trekker

By Firefighting, HEMSNo Comments

China’s Xiangjiang General Aviation Development Company (“Xiangjiang GA”) has signed a contract for one AW139 medium twin-engine helicopter and one AW109 Trekker light twin helicopter. The helicopters will be utilised by various municipal branches in the Hunan province, performing public HEMS, fire-fighting and public security missions. The project represents a brand new public sponsored approach in the establishment of a nationwide HEMS and aerial fire-fighting network in China.

Hunan, with a population of 66 million and a GDP of US$ 700 billion, is the first province in China to reform its low altitude airspace and pioneer a public HEMS service through the establishment of Xiangjiang GA. With the fleet combination of the AW139 intermediate and AW109 Trekker light twin both to be delivered within 2023, Xiangjiang GA will be able to perform a wide range of public services missions, with a future fleet and capability growth in mind.

Virginia State Police MedFlight reducing hours due to pilot shortage

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The pilot shortage is beginning to bite forcing Virginia State Police to cut back operating hours due to a shortfall in pilot numbers. The operational hours for the VSP’s MedFlight service will be reduced from 24hr to 16hrs per day between the hours of 8 am to midnight.

The State Police say four pilot positions remain open at the base despite a relatively low experience requirement – According to the state’s recruitment page they require a minimum of FAA CPL(H) with 500 hours total time (with 200 hours turbine and 50 night as pilot in command) for candidates, this compares with more typical new hire experience where 4-5,000 hours is the norm.

Record-breaking year for RACQ LifeFlight

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LifeFlight Australia has completed another record-breaking financial year, coming to the aid of 6,825 people through missions performed by RACQ LifeFlight Rescue helicopters, Air Ambulance jets and Critical Care Doctors “We’re proud to make a difference in the lives of so many people, including those in rural and regional Queensland, by being ready to respond, 24/7, 365 days a year,” said General Manager of RACQ LifeFlight Rescue Operations, Brian Guthrie.”We provide a critical service and high level of pre-hospital care to anyone who needs it, and that world-class care comes at no cost to patients.”

During the 2021-2022 financial year, RACQ LifeFlight Rescue’s helicopter fleet was called upon to be part of the multi-agency emergency response efforts, during three separate catastrophic flood events. “Queenslanders were challenged this year with really difficult situations, particularly in the floods. We saw a number of floods that we had to deal with and the versatility of our crews was second to none. We were able to respond to numerous rescue calls, but also when we’re out there we are seeing so much more happening and are looking to respond to others at the same time, so it’s a really difficult time for our crew and what we really rely on is their ability to make great judgement calls and really draw on their experience and skill set to get everyone to safety where possible,” Brian Guthrie said.

One of the most common call outs for the RACQ LifeFlight Rescue helicopters in the past 12 months, was to assist people involved in motor vehicle incidents. “It’s incredibly disappointing to see crashes still in the top five reasons for call outs for the RACQ LifeFlight Rescue Service.  We know that many of these crashes are caused by the ‘Fatal Five’ and are avoidable and drivers need to be taking more responsibility for their behaviour behind the wheel,” said RACQ spokesperson, Tristan Vorias.”Our message to motorists, is to drive like your life depends on it – because it does..”

FIA 2022 News – London Air Ambulance sign for two Airbus H135s plus Maintenance

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The London Air Ambulance Charity (LAAC) has ordered two Airbus H135s for it’s fleet renewal programme which it confirmed at a signing ceremony at Farnborough this morning. The two aircraft, which are due to be delivered in September and October of 2024 respectively will replace the LAAC’s two MD902 Explorers. The demands of LAAC’s area of operations led to a robust acquisition process explained LAAC Deputy CEO Charles Newett “Our treatment strategy is based on getting our clinical teams as close to the casualty, as quickly as possible in addition there are the confines of space in London so we need to get into very restricted spaces. Add to that, there is the risk of the public being present. The compact size of the H135 combined with the fenestron tail rotor and high ground clearance are attractive features”.  Newett went on to add that internal space and the equipment that can be packed into the 135 were key factors in it’s selection.

While the medical fit is yet to be defined, with clinical teams being involved in the eventual contents and layout of the Medical support package.

In addition, to the sale Airbus Helicopters UK base at Oxford airport have signed a maintenance support package for the two aircraft. Which will see line tasks carried at RAF Northolt in West London while heavier work will be completed at Oxford Airport.

FIA 2022 News – Essex & Herts Air Ambulance to add another AW169 to fleet

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Leonardo have announced that UK charity Essex & Herts Air Ambulance (EHAAT) will expand its fleet with a second AW169. The agreement between Specialist Aviation Services and EHAAT, which was signed at the Farnborough International Airshow, includes a bespoke medical interior, in addition to other modifications to be provided by SAS. Delivery of the helicopter is expected to take place within Q4 2023 and entry to service is anticipated in Q1 2024 with its fully customised medical interior provided by Specialist Aviation Services. The introduction of an additional AW169 into the EHAAT fleet will support the charity’s strategic objectives in providing advanced, life-saving care to the communities of Essex and Hertfordshire.

Paul Curtis, Aviation & Operations Director at EHAAT, said: “Having seen the financial and operational benefits of buying our first AW169 in 2017 the Trustees have made the decision to add a second AW169 to the fleet to replace our existing leased MD902, which is now over 12 years old. The charity can save a considerable amount of money by purchasing a second aircraft, when compared to the cost of leasing, and it will give us an asset worth several million pounds at the end of its operational life with us.”

The announcement brings the AW169 total order book to just under 300 with more than 140 already in service in 25 countries.

Nearly 20,000 call outs for DRF Luftrettung in the first half of the year

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The crews of the 29 HEMS bases operated by DRF Luftrettung received a total of 19,791 alerts from January to June 2022, which represents an increase of 8 per cent compared with the same period in last year. The non-profit air rescue organisation also made key progress with important developments and projects in the first half of the year. Training for the organisation’s first cohort of helicopter pilots is just about to start and the joint project to develop a hoist simulator got under way. Dr. Krystian Pracz, Chairperson of the DRF Luftrettung Executive Board, summed up the achievements: “The high mission figures once again underscore the important role that air rescue plays in providing comprehensive emergency medical care to people in Germany. In the first half of the year, we were also able, once again, to achieve our aim of consistently driving the ongoing development of air rescue. One important milestone in this is our very own pilot training. The internal preparation work has been running at full speed in recent months and is now entering the final sprint towards the finish line. We were also able to reveal the start of a ground-breaking collaboration project with the manufacturer Reiser Simulation and Training recently to develop a hoist simulator, which we expect to launch in spring 2023 and which will offer entirely new possibilities for hoist training.”