CareFlight has taken delivery of Australia’s first emergency medical services (EMS) version of the Airbus H145 light twin helicopter.
The aeromedical charity’s aircraft, VH-HPL, can carry three medical crew and a patient on full life support and intensive-care monitoring.
Its aircraft rear doors also open outwards so crews can load and unload patients on wheeled stretchers faster and it can also be airborne within three minutes of activation.
“We know that the sooner we reach patients and start clinical interventions, the better the outcome for patients,” said Dr Toby Fogg, CareFlight’s national medical director.
“CareFlight flies a specialist doctor and NSW Ambulance intensive care paramedic to the scene of trauma so they can immediately assess and commence clinical treatment. For patients who are critically injured or ill we know this gives patients the best chance of survival, and with this aircraft online, we will be able to arrive and commence treatment sooner.”
Other features of the helicopter allow it to land on small and uneven landing sites, close to incidents; full night-vision goggle compatible cockpit and an ability to fly at speeds of up to 250km/h.
“The advanced cockpit, autopilot and avionics are state-of-the-art and make this helicopter one of the most advanced aeromedical helicopters operating in Australia,” said current rapid response pilot and CareFlight co-founder John Hoad.
“Having flown six different helicopters for CareFlight over my 35 years with the organisation, I am excited that we continue to be at the forefront of aeromedical and aviation technology.”
Airbus estimates it has more than 1,450 H145 Family helicopters in service globally with more than 450 EMS versions conducting rapid response missions.
In December, Australian Aviation reported how Queensland aeromedical charity RACQ LifeFlight has unveiled its new AW139, which it claims to have adapted to work in “extreme conditions”.
The Special Mission helicopter features “Forward-Looking Infra-Red” (FLIR) tech to spot heat sources from over water, can hover at 50 feet and “lock on” to moving survivors caught in a tide.
VH-XIA, msn 31590, will be based at the aeromedical helicopter operator’s Archerfield West facility in Brisbane.
LifeFlight also said the AW139, which is sponsored by Land Rover, is the “only aircraft of its type” available for immediate deployment by civil agencies, in Australia and beyond.