Australia’s CareFlight adds H145 to rescue fleet

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CareFlight’s rapid response helicopter, which is tasked by NSW Ambulance, conducts 250-300 missions a year and is equipped with the most up-to-date medical equipment including a mobile intensive care unit. (PHOTO: CareFlight)

Use this oneCareFlight has added a new Airbus H145 to its aeromedical fleet in Sydney. The H145 is the first aeromedical aircraft of its kind in Australia offering significant improvements in safety and speed. Capable of being airborne within three minutes of activation, the H145 has a flight speed of up to 250km/hr ensuring patients receive lifesaving treatment fast, the service said in announcing the addition.

“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.”

Reaching patients rapidly is further enhanced by the aircraft’s safety features which allow it to land on small and uneven landing sites, as close to the incident as possible. These safety features include a small diameter high main rotor and fully enclosed Fenestron tail rotor. Being mounted on skids with a high belly clearance also widens the landing options available to the pilot. Adding to the external design features is the state-of-the-art cockpit which houses the Helionix Avionic system. The Helionix filters the information provided to aircrew through the glass panel display to provide the right information at the right phase of the mission.  This includes information from the Synthetic Vision System (SVS) which displays an accurate view of the surrounding terrain and obstacles, regardless of outside visibility.

The H145’s advanced flight features also include a full four-axis autopilot system which allows the pilot to offload the task and cognitive load of flying the helicopter to allow the crew to concentrate on detecting threats and optimising the mission. Other features include a single pilot instrument flight rating and full night-vision goggle compatible cockpit for 24-hour operations.

CareFlight’s rapid response helicopter, which is tasked by NSW Ambulance, conducts 250-300 missions a year and is equipped with the most up-to-date medical equipment including a mobile intensive care unit. The H145’s cabin is designed to mimic the space of a road ambulance and is fitted with advanced radio and intercom systems including audio output from patient monitors allowing patients to be closely monitored throughout their transportation. The rear clamshell doors allow for faster loading and unloading of patients saving critical minutes, ultimately improving patient outcomes.

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