As with many innovations in Emergency Medical Services (EMS), the concept of transporting the injured by aircraft has its origins in the military and the concept of using aircraft as ambulances is almost as old as powered flight itself.
The first written record of the term "air ambulance" is in Jules Verne's Robur le Conquérant (1866), which describes the rescue of shipwrecked sailors by an airship (balloon) named the Albatross. The first documented use of an air ambulance occurred during the Siege of Paris in 1870. when balloons were used to evacuate more than 160 soldiers from the besieged city.
One of the world's earliest well documented SAR efforts ensued following the 1656 wreck of the Dutch merchant ship Vergulde Draeck off the west coast of Australia. Survivors sent for help, and in response three separate SAR missions were conducted, without success.
On 29 November 1945, a Sikorsky R-5 performed the first civilian helicopter rescue operation in history, with Sikorsky's chief pilot Dmitry "Jimmy" Viner in the cockpit, using an experimental hoist developed jointly by Sikorsky and Breeze.
EMS and SAR are a part of business aviation services we see and talk less about. However it is such an important mission, that we want to share our observations we made during 50skyshades visit to Baku, Zabrat airport, SWHS.
As we already mentioned, SWHS is a helicopter city, where all related to EMS and SAR has very special attention, due to specific tasks of this kind of operations.
As SWHS general director, Azer Sultanov told us, Azerbaidjan has a state program, supporting this kind of operations, so SWHS team is working in close cooperation with Health ministry Emergency teams. There are two AW-139 Ambulance helicopters in the fleet, designed to meet the multi-mission demands. The avionic system reduces pilot workload, allowing the crew to focuse on rescue and security. Both of helicopters are equiped with 2 Pratt&Whitney PT 6C- 67C engines. Its power reserve, AW-139 Ambulance assures "A" category superior performance from a helipad ( elevated or a ground level) at maximum take-off weight.
EMS and SAR operations, by their very nature, carry risks not associated with other types of flying. These pilots often cope with an unusually hostile environment and minimum planning time, in order to save lives. Mr.Sultanov told that SWHS are lucky to have the possibility to get best pilots from the academy and choose between them for really special ones for this kind of operations.
SWHS team together with "flying doctors" are having regular trainings to update their knowledge, to maintain all certificated needed.
Given the specificity of the Caspian region as an oil-producing, air ambulance teams must be ready to help and to emergent situations including oil rigs. SWHS own technical support allows you to over quick response in any emergency situations. So whenever needed - the team is ready 24/7.
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