Air Med unveils newest upgrade to EMS helicopter fleet in Lake Charles, LA

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, April 4, 2011

  • Air Med unveils newest upgrade to EMS helicopter fleet in Lake Charles, LA
  • This is the third in Air Med’s six helicopter fleet upgrade to be completed by July 2011
  • The EC135 is an additional 24-hr ambulance helicopter in the Air Med fleet that will enhance survival to trauma, medical, offshore, and hospital-to-hospital patient transports

Acadian Ambulance’s Air Med, the first aero-medical provider in the Louisiana since 1981, unveiled the most recent upgrade to its fleet of EMS helicopters, the EC135. This is the third in Air Med’s six helicopter fleet upgrade, to be completed in July of this year, which will feature IFR capability, that can fly in adverse weather inland in the very near future. The EC135s will retire the BO105 fleet that serves Louisiana and the Gulf of Mexico.

Acadian’s latest addition to the fleet is the most technologically advanced of its kind. The third EC135 placed into service offers greater survival capabilities to injured trauma and critically ill patient transfers.  The helicopter is packed with innovative technology that allows flying at night and in adverse weather conditions that ordinarily would have prohibited evacuation of the injured or ill patients from a hospital to a higher level of care.  This enhanced capability allows for a greater chance of survival as patients can be transported immediately when the call comes in.

The Lake Charles based EC135 will be flown with full IFR instrumentation, 3-axis autopilot and using the aid of night vision technology can navigate safely in the dark expanses of the swamps and marshes across rural Louisiana.  Night vision systems, originally pioneered by the military, offer the flight crew the ability to magnify natural and artificial light sources over 30,000 times and therefore ensure the highest level of safety. The helicopter is also satellite tracked in the Air Med Operational Control Center.

Air Med’s third EC135, the first is stationed in Lafayette, also contains instrumentation such as traffic collision avoidance systems, helicopter terrain warning avoidance systems and state-of-the-art weather and obstacle radar. The latest communications are also included in this cutting edge aircraft. Three different radio systems, satellite tracking, and digital voice to text communications are also at the disposal of the flight crew.

These capabilities will enable Air Med to transport maternal, neonatal and pediatric transport teams and organ procurement teams across Louisiana safely during adverse weather situations.

“The benefits to this additional technology is threefold—it  makes us a safer operation, it allows us to transport patients that ordinarily may have had to travel by ground ambulance, and it allows us to be in a better position when FAA mandates come out in a few years that require this equipment,” said Operations Manager Marc Creswell.

A big advantage of the EC135 is its weight of under 6500 pounds, which allows it to land on the smaller rig helipads located on the continental shelf in the Gulf of Mexico. These helipads are off limits to the larger search and rescue helicopters that require high risk hoisting of ill and traumatized patients. Air Med’s  EC135 air ambulances can land on the rig itself eliminating the patients’ exposure to the high winds of the aircraft, and the hot, cold and rainy weather experienced in the Gulf.

Air Med’s helicopters contain the latest life saving devices along with highly trained critical care paramedics. The liberal treatment protocols are also supported with online medical control. Air Med employs fulltime emergency and critical care physicians that are online 24-hours-a day to ensure that the patient is treated according to the most current guidelines.

For more information on this life saving service, please call 855.AIRMED1 (1.855.247.6331), or visit www.acadianairmed.com.

Contact:  W. Keith Simon, VP, PR & Marketing, 1.800.259.3333

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