Australian Helicopters wins 10 year EMS contract with five AW139s

Australian Helicopters wins 10 year EMS contract with five AW139s

28-Apr-2014 Source: Australian Helicopters

Following a competitive tender process, one of Australia’s leading suppliers of mission-critical helicopter services, Australian Helicopters, has been awarded a 10-year contract with the Victorian Government and Ambulance Victoria.

The agreement will see the supply of new state-of-the-art AgustaWestland AW-139 twin engine helicopters and includes a dedicated back-up aircraft to maintain services when heavy aircraft maintenance is required.

Australian Helicopters presently operates two of the five Ambulance Victoria air ambulance helicopters, based in Warrnambool and Melbourne, and has supplied the service for the past five years.

Australian Helicopters Managing Director, John Boag, said the contract was a major business win for the company and recognition that its services to Ambulance Victoria and the people of Victoria were of the highest possible standard.

“We are extremely proud and excited to be awarded this contract by Ambulance Victoria,” said Mr Boag.

“The internal dimensions of the AW-139 makes them the best choice for primary and secondary EMS applications and allows the transport for up to two stretcher patients if required.”

“The aircraft are faster, can travel longer distances without refuelling and utilise state-of-the-art avionic technology.

“We look forward to continuing our partnership with Ambulance Victoria and the Victorian Government to support the community over the next decade.”

Ambulance Victoria CEO Greg Sassella said, “Ambulance Victoria is pleased to have contracted Australian Helicopters for the provision of these excellent helicopters and we look forward to continuing our solid relationship with them.”

Australian Helicopters is part of the Avincis Group, one of the world’s leading providers of aviation services for mission-critical operations such as medical emergency, civil protection, search & rescue, coast and city surveillance, firefighting and energy support services.

Richard Mintern, CEO Avincis – Northern Europe and Asia Pacific, said, “We are both delighted and honoured to be chosen by Ambulance Victoria to be part of their team for the next 10 years. Australian Helicopters’ highly experienced and locally focussed team, supported by the Avincis Group’s global resources, enables us to provide a high quality mission critical service that is customised to meet our client’s needs.”

The new helicopters will be operational from January 2016 and be located at bases in Essendon, Warrnambool, the Latrobe Valley and Bendigo.

Over the past 12 months Australian Helicopters have been awarded tenders for the National Aerial Firefighting Centre delivered through the South Australian Country Fire Service, the Central Queensland Rescue Service in Mackay and the Capricorn Helicopter Rescue Service in Rockhampton, both part of the Queensland Government’s Emergency Helicopter Network.

Editor note – The Minister for Health, The Hon. David Davis, issued the following as well

Victorians will have a new fleet of state-of-the-art helicopters from January 2016 thanks to an estimated $550 million Victorian Coalition Government investment, Minister for Health David Davis said today.

Following a competitive tender process, Australian Helicopters has been awarded a 10-year contract to operate new Agusta Westland AW-139 twin engine helicopters for Ambulance Victoria (AV).

The new fleet will replace AV’s present five helicopters and includes a dedicated back-up aircraft to maintain services when heavy aircraft maintenance is required.

Mr Davis said the new helicopters would cement Ambulance Victoria’s reputation for world-class emergency aeromedical response, patient care and recovery from remote and difficult environments.

“Victoria already boasts a highly regarded, coordinated and effective air ambulance service which responds to every corner of the state, usually in times of emergency or critical medical need,” Mr Davis said.

“While the existing fleet is continuing to service the Victorian community well, the new helicopters will have the latest in avionic technology, are faster, bigger and can travel longer distances without refuelling.

“This means a significant improvement in times taken to transport the sickest patients from rural Victoria to major trauma centres. The new aircraft will be able to fly time-critical patients to Melbourne from communities more than 250km away in less than an hour.

“This means rural communities will have enhanced access to Ambulance Victoria’s highest level of care and rapid transport to major trauma, cardiac and specialist hospitals.

“Having access to a new fleet of modern aircraft will enable flight paramedics to continue their crucial life-saving work.”

Ambulance Victoria CEO Greg Sassella said AV’s emergency response helicopters (based at Essendon, the Latrobe Valley, Bendigo and Warrnambool) responded to 2,283 emergency cases in 2012/13, transporting 1,810 patients.

“We pride ourselves on providing an advanced level of care, quick attendance and fast transport, usually in critical medical situations,” Mr Sassella said.

“Most helicopter callouts are for life-threatening emergencies, which are often trauma and paediatric cases. Our helicopters also retrieve patients needing priority transfer between rural hospitals and specialist services in Melbourne.

“Being able to replace our existing fleet with these helicopters with a standard fit-out and provided under the one contract will streamline training and operational processes for MICA flight paramedics, flight paramedics and crews. Above all, Victorians can be assured they are getting the very best care possible wherever they may be.”

Key operational benefits of the new fleet will include:

  • state of the art safety features including air traffic and terrain warning systems;
  • faster flying times;
  • increased endurance (range);
  • ability to transport two stretcher patients if required;
  • the latest avionics technology; and
  • increased infra-red and night vision capability.

Australian Helicopters presently operates two helicopters for AV (based in Warrnambool and Melbourne) and similar services in Queensland and South Australia.

“We are extremely proud and excited to be awarded this contract by Ambulance Victoria,” Australian Helicopters Managing Director John Boag said.

“We look forward to continuing our support for the people of Victoria with these new technology helicopters over the next decade.”

In 2011, Ambulance Victoria MICA flight paramedics became the first in the world able to carry a supply of blood on helicopters to administer to patients requiring urgent blood transfusions.

AV also operates four King Air B-200 fixed wing aircraft, which are used in emergencies and for the routine transfer of patients.

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