Bristow U.S. LLC today announced that it was awarded a contract with Hess Corporation for medevac and search and rescue (SAR) services in the Gulf of Mexico. This is Bristow’s second contract to provide full SAR services in the Gulf of Mexico.
“We are honored to provide this critical lifesaving service on behalf of Hess,” said Bristow Americas Regional Director Samantha Willenbacher. “We are drawing on our years of experience of operating SAR around the world, including for all of the UK on behalf of the HM Coastguard, and partnering with Acadian Air Med to deliver the highest standard of rescue service and medical care in the Gulf of Mexico.”
As part of the contract, Hess joins Shell Offshore as the second member of the new SAR consortium formed by Bristow, which guarantees SAR and medevac response to members 24 hours a day, seven days a week, covering their entire Gulf of Mexico operations.
Bristow will operate the new service from its standalone SAR facility at the South Lafourche Airport in Galliano, dedicating a Sikorsky S-92 and a Leonardo AW139 aircraft for the contract. The S-92 dedicated to this service is the only all-weather heavy SAR aircraft operating in the Gulf of Mexico, with the speed and extended operational range to reach ultra deepwater rigs and installations, and the necessary capacity to respond quickly to multiple-casualty situations.
“We are using sophisticated helicopters to deploy multiple types of airborne rescues for the new service, with crews that are highly skilled and trained and ready to respond to any type of medical emergency,” said Willenbacher. “With our rescue fleet, all parts of the Gulf of Mexico are within reach of this lifesaving service.”
The S-92 helicopter is the most advanced aircraft in Sikorsky’s civil product line, equipped with state-of-the-art technology, including forward looking infrared (FLIR), auto hover, twin-hoist, mission management and increased on-board medical capabilities. Bristow’s AW139 helicopter features a 700Mhz radio for communication with multiagency responders, mission management capabilities, external rescue hoist system and critical care medical equipment. Onboard the aircraft are two pilots, a rescue hoist operator, a certified rescue swimmer, and a critical care transport-flight paramedic. This advanced aircraft capability is supported by onsite contingency operations consisting of air-droppable survival kits, linked raft systems, marine vessel salvage pumps, and point of injury industrial confined space and technical rescue.
Consortium members also receive emergency dispatch service provided by nationally registered EMTs and certified with the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch. The advanced dispatch program uses ProQA Dispatch software that provides an unmatched level of pre-arrival medical instructions over the phone to the caller until the helicopter arrives. Any critical and pertinent changes in the patient’s condition are immediately relayed in real-time to the enroute helicopter. Bristow also uses a Medical Priority Dispatch System (MPDS) to triage a patient’s acuity based off of the information provided by the caller and laid out during the emergency medical dispatching process.
With more than five decades of experience delivering SAR, Bristow provides SAR services as a core part of its helicopter services in most of the countries in which it operates. Since 1971, Bristow has flown more than 65,000 SAR operational hours and conducted more than 20,100 SAR missions, during which more than 10,700 people have been rescued by our crews and helicopters worldwide.
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