On February 1, 2020, the fourth helicopter used in the helicopter rescue in South Tyrol entered service. In addition to Pelikan 1, Pelikan 2 and Aiut Alpin Dolomites, the additional aircraft with callsign “Pelikan 3” will be based in Lasa in Val Venosta to strengthen the EMS coverin the western part of the South Tyrol province (also known as Alto Adige). The helicopter is managed by the HELI – Elisoccorso Alto Adige association, whose members are the White Cross, the Alpenverein Südtirol, the mountain rescue of the AVS and the CNSAS as well as the CAI. Medical and nursing staff are provided by the Company Emergency Medical Service and by the White Cross.
During the three-year phase of the project, Pelikan 3 will be used as a seasonal rescue vehicle and the following operating periods have been defined: from 1 February to 26 April 2020; from 30 May to 4 October 2020; from 30 November to 18 April 2021. The emergency helicopter will be in service from sunrise to sunset and will fly from 8 am to 8 pm in the summer months, and is estimated to complete 700 missions in 2020.
After a lengthy verification, Lasa was identified as the most geographically appropriate base. In the meantime, a land with an area of about 350 square meters has been rented by the province. A helicopter landing and take-off platform has already been set up in the area in question. This has a refuelling facility and a hangar, and acts as an optimal take-off position for the catchment area which includes the entire Val Venosta with the focus on the upper Val Venosta.
An Airbus H145 helicopter is used for the service. The helicopter is of the same model as Pelikan 1 and Pelikan 2 and is one of the most modern and powerful helicopters available on the market for air rescue. The helicopter has the ability to transport up to 7 people and one or two patients stretched. For rescue maneuvers, the crew has a winch of 91 meters in length. It can be used for a wide range of missions, from complex mountain rescue operations in glacier areas to emergency medical interventions.
The excellent and efficient collaboration between the HELI Association, the Business Urgency and Medical Emergency Service and all other organizations listed above made possible the rapid implementation of this fundamental service for the population.
Jeremy Parkin – HeliHub.com
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