Air Medical Group Holdings (AMGH), a leading U.S. provider of air medical transport services, has ordered new Airbus Helicopters H130s to launch the first-ever dedicated helicopter emergency medical services operation in India. AMGH has joined forces with an Indian firm, Aviators Air Rescue, and will initiate emergency medical services later this year. The new venture will primarily be run by Aviators Air Rescue management, with technical expertise and standards provided by AMGH.
"AMGH is delighted to join Aviators in launching the first helicopter EMS service in India," said AMGH CEO Fred Buttrell. "Our company, focused on serving those in their critical time of need with our aviation and medical personnel, has set the standard for solution oriented, safe and high-quality air medical transport services in the U.S. market. We will join with Aviators and bring that same level of life-saving service to the people of India."
AMGH is initially acquiring three H130s from Airbus Helicopters Inc., in Grand Prairie, Texas, which will supply the industry-leading air medical helicopters on a tight delivery timeline to meet AMGH's schedule requirements. Pilot and crew training for the new helicopters will be conducted by Airbus Helicopters Inc. in Grand Prairie. Airbus Helicopters India will provide service and support for the aircraft in the country. AMGH and Aviators have options to acquire additional helicopters for use in this venture
"We are extremely proud that AMGH has chosen Airbus Helicopters to support this bold international undertaking and has selected the H130 as the aircraft of choice to launch the first airborne EMS services in India," said Chris Emerson, President of Airbus Helicopters Inc. "The entire Airbus Helicopters team appreciates this endorsement by AMGH, and we will support this new endeavor in every way required to ensure its success."
The rollout of Aviators Air Rescue's new service follows the recent release by the Indian Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) of regulatory guidelines for the operation of helicopter EMS in India. The new guidelines will allow the use of single-engine, dual-pilot helicopters.
"With the support of Airbus Helicopters and Air Medical Group Holdings, we will provide India with top-notch air medical services that will be affordable and accessible for everyone. These services will be on par with the established HEMS operations in the US and Europe," said Arun Sharma, Managing Director of Aviators Air Rescue.
The H130 is considered the global reference for single-engine helicopter air ambulance missions. It has a wide, unobstructed cabin with large hinged and sliding doors for rapid loading and unloading of stretchers and allows medical personnel easy and unobstructed access to care for patients. Low internal sound levels and the flat cabin floor offer a suitable environment to install both sensitive and bulky medical equipment. Apart from the two pilots, the H130 can accommodate one stretcher, two medical attendants, and one additional seat.
The H130s are now undergoing completion at Airbus Helicopters Inc. They will be equipped with specialized air medical equipment packages configured for emergency transportation of patients, organs, neo-natal units and other time-critical medical missions. The helicopters will be dedicated solely to medical transport missions. The first H130 is expected to be delivered to Aviators in the second half of 2016, with the other two aircraft to follow soon after.
"It is an honor that Aviators and world-renowned Air Medical Group Holdings have put their faith in our helicopter to rescue Indian lives threatened by emergency medical situations. We will bring to bear our global expertise in medical helicopters and our India-based support and services team to ensure that these H130s are always ready to respond to a call," said Xavier Hay, President of Airbus Helicopters India.
Aviators will offer EMS through state governments, rescue groups, hospitals, clinics, public and private companies, and also to individuals through subscriptions. Aviators has begun soliciting private membership subscriptions for the service. Additional information on Aviators is available at www.airrescue.in.
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