8-Apr-2014 Source: CareFlight Group
CareFlight Group Queensland is celebrating half a decade of diligently working away in Abu Dhabi, expanding its internationally recognised safety instruction program through the provision of world-class training to the emirate nation’s Police Force Air Wing.
In five years, three CareFlight instructors have spent in excess of 2,000 hours training more than 70 Abu Dhabi Police pilots and 40 aircrewmen in search and rescue operations and night vision goggle (NVG) equipped flying.
Abu Dhabi based CareFlight Instructor, Andrew Riches, who has spent half of his CareFlight career in the Middle Eastern nation, said the organisation was focussed on providing local pilots and aircrewmen with internationally used skills.
“Basically, we take someone who has no experience flying in a crewed operation and train them so they’re practically ready for anything,” he explained.
“They learn confined area flying, dust landings, winching over water and land, as well as performing vessel transfers; after dark they learn how to fly NVG.
“We’ve gone to great lengths to integrate ourselves into their organisation and build a trusting relationship.
“We attend similar accidents and emergencies like the RACQ CareFlight Rescue helicopters do in Australia. I recently flew to the scene of a motor vehicle accident where a car hit a camel and one person was killed and we airlifted a local man in a critical condition to Mafraq hospital in Abu Dhabi.”
“We’re now working with authorities to equip local instructors so that one day they will be able to implement a self-sustained training system in their home country.”
The Abu Dhabi Police Air Wing is one of many international organisations that look to CareFlight to provide world-class training, along with the Qatar Emiri Air Force, Malaysian Coast Guard, UAE Air Force, Dubai Police Force and Saudi Paramedics.
CareFlight’s General Manager Training Jeremy Ovens said CareFlight was proud to help make a positive difference on a global scale.
“CareFlight Training Services was originally established to train our own pilots, aircrewmen and medical staff but over the last 18 years it’s grown into a busy hub of specialist educational training for external aviation industry clients around the world.
“We also regularly welcome groups of international students to our HEMS Academy on the Gold Coast.
“Best of all, funds generated from these training contracts are directed back into the CareFlight community rescue helicopters so they can continue to provide the lifesaving care across the country.”
The quality training CareFlight offers is not just a source of revenue to ensure that CareFlight’s vital community helicopter service remains viable, but is also a way of giving back to the aviation industry to ensure it is better, safer and stronger now and into the future.
CareFlight Group is a Queensland based organisation and is one of the largest and most diversified community based air-medical operators in the world. CareFlight Group operates 11 rescue helicopters and two air ambulance Learjets and employs more than 400 staff in 14 locations. Seven of these are CareFlight’s own aeromedical bases.
Photo – CareFlight Instructors Simon Gray and Andrew Riches with Abu Dhabi Police Force Air Wing students.