Co-operation between the AGL Action Rescue Helicopter Service and Careflight NSW emergency helicopter services has moved a step closer, boosted with the board of the AGL-sponsored service agreeing to conduct joint due diligence towards establishing an operational merger.
The move would represent the initial stages of developing a national framework for Australia’s 11 community helicopter providers that operate from 15 bases around the country.
The proposed collaboration is aimed at improving efficiencies for participant organisations, but also at improving patient outcomes, safety and training, and delivery of service by creating greater synergies between the like-organisations. In July when the initiative was first mooted publicly, AGL Action Rescue Helicopter Service CEO Dave Donaldson said the collaboration was something he hoped other organisations could be encouraged to participate in as the model evolved.
“We believe a national framework would allow us to consolidate our depth of experience and capabilities. It’s about looking within the industry at the way we do things and out of that developing a national best-practice. This could apply to everything from night landings and rescues to training and maintenance, ultimately improving safety for our crews and patients,” Donaldson said.
Both operators involved in the current discussions agree that each will retain its identity within their respective communities, something considered vital to local fund-raising efforts.