Air Med unveils newest upgrade to EMS helicopter fleet

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, October 27, 2009

Air Med unveils newest upgrade to EMS helicopter fleet
EC 135 only 24-hr ambulance helicopter in state with dual pilots that can fly at night & in adverse weather
Enhances survival capability to offshore and hospital-to-hospital transfers
New One Gulf Emergency Call Center will coordinate any asset to respond to any offshore location and transport the injured worker
Acadian Ambulance’s Air Med, the first aero-medical provider in the Gulf of Mexico since 1981, unveiled the most recent upgrade to its fleet of EMS helicopters, the EC-135. It is the only first response 24-hour air ambulance helicopter in Louisiana, with dual pilots, that can fly in adverse weather inland and offshore.

The ribbon cutting ceremony was held at the Louisiana Gulf Coast Oil Exposition at the Cajundome.   Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources Scott Angelle, City-Parish President Joey Durel and Acadian officials, Chairman & CEO Richard Zuschlag and VP of Air Services Erroll Babineaux were on hand for the event. Special guests included Governor Kathleen  Babineaux-Blanco and  State Representative Freddie Mills.

Acadian’s latest addition to the fleet is the most technologically advanced of its kind. The EC 135 offers greater survival capabilities to the injured offshore and critical 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 patient from a hospital or workers offshore.  This enhanced capability allows for a greater chance of survival as patients can be transported immediately when the call comes in.

The EC 135 is flown dual pilot, with full IFR instrumentation, 3-axis autopilot and using the aid of night vision technology can navigate safely in the dark expanses of the Gulf of Mexico and 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 EC 135 also contains instrumentation such as traffic collision avoidance systems, helicopter terrain warning avoidance systems and Honeywell’s state of the art WU 660 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 enable Air Med to transport neonatal and pediatric transport teams and organ procurement teams across Louisiana safely during adverse weather situations.

The main advantage to using the EC 135 is the lightweight of the aircraft. The EC 135 weighs about 6000lbs, granting it the ability to land on smaller platforms that ordinarily cannot handle the larger IFR aircraft used by other providers.  Air Med also has set up fueling agreements throughout the Gulf of Mexico thereby not limiting the range of the aircraft.

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.

Air Med is also unveiling the One Gulf Emergency Call Center that will offer even greater medical service transportation to the offshore industry. Staffed 24/7 by paramedics cross-trained as flight controllers, this service is offered by dialing 877-ONE-GULF any time day or night. The paramedic flight controllers will coordinate medical assets to respond to an offshore location and transport the injured worker.  The paramedics will also provide self-help on the phone, coordinate transportation through the Louisiana Trauma system and report back to the platform once the patient is delivered.

For more information on this life saving service, please call 877-ONE-GULF, or log on to www.acadianairmed.com.

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

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