24-hour helicopter medivac service launched for the Cooper Basin

24-hour helicopter medivac service launched for the Cooper Basin

15-Sep-2014 Source: Cooper Medivac

For the first time, a night-vision equipped helicopter has begun operating in the Cooper Basin, in the heart of Australia’s outback.

The Cooper Medivac 24 helicopter is a vital link that saves time delivering critically-ill patients to the Royal Flying Doctor Service at the nearest available airstrip.

Senex and fellow Cooper Basin operator Drillsearch Energy pooled their resources to fund Cooper Medivac 24 to make it safer for all the people who live, work and travel in this remote region.

Cooper Medivac 24 can fly both day and night because it is equipped with night vision goggles that allow it to fly 24 hours a day (weather permitting).

The service complements and enhances the existing 24/7 emergency response capabilities of the Royal Flying Doctor Service and was developed in consultation with the aeromedical service.

Cooper Medivac 24 is operated by Heliwest and based in Moomba. It is an initiative of Senex and Drillsearch – companies whose Cooper Basin oil and gas operations have experienced enormous growth in recent years.

It is proving to be a valuable service for the local community and has already been called out twice to respond to recent medical emergencies.

In one case, Cooper Medivac 24 airlifted a victim of a motorbike accident in the Simpson Desert to paramedics in Birdsville within five hours, and connected with the Royal Flying Doctor Service. Without the helicopter, the same task would have required a lengthy round-trip in a 4WD ambulance, travelling at night over rough terrain.

The initiative is an example of the oil and gas industry working collaboratively to deliver genuine benefit for employees and contractors, but also the broader population, including landowners, indigenous custodians, local businesses and tourists travelling through this remote landscape.

Senex Managing Director Ian Davies said “Cooper Medivac 24 is simply the right thing to do. By saving time, we can save lives”.

Drillsearch Managing Director Brad Lingo agreed: “We have a duty of care to our people working in the field, as well as a broader role in the Cooper Basin community, so we think this is an important initiative to be involved with.”

The launch of Cooper Medivac 24 coincided with the biggest week of the year in the tiny South Australian township of Innamincka. The population of 12 usually swells to around 400 each year in the lead up to the Innamincka Races.

This year, the population burst at the seams two days earlier when Innamincka Publican Jill Ross hosted the inaugural Concert in the Carpark with Ami Williamson, daughter of Australian country musician John Williamson, and raised more than $21,000 for the Royal Flying Doctor Service Central Operations.

Senex and Drillsearch were Gold Sponsors of the Ami Williamson fundraiser in Innamincka. Senex is a major sponsor the Royal Flying Doctor Service Central Operations.

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