Aviators air ambulance service launched for South India
A fleet of three medically configured helicopters has been launched to offer a smooth ride to patients in need of immediate medical care
With the concept of air ambulances gaining ground at a time when every single second could be a matter of life or death, a Bengaluru-based private firm Aviators Air Rescue has introduced a dedicated air ambulance service to cater to the needs of the entire South India i.e., the five states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah launched the Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) of Aviators Air Rescue at HAL airport on Friday.
A fleet of three medically configured helicopters has been launched to offer a smooth ride to patients in need of immediate medical care. Each helicopter can accommodate two pilots, three paramedics, one stretcher and advanced life support medical equipment like ventilator, defibrillator and cardiac monitor, suction apparatus and syringe pump.
Aviators Air Rescue Ltd, is a pioneer in Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) in India and has acquired three Airbus helicopters H-130 medically equipped to transport patients in critical conditions from one location to another in a timely manner to increase survival rate.
In the first phase, Aviators Air Rescue will cover all 5 southern states – Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana with three helicopters that are currently based in Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad.
Speaking to reporters at the launch, Aviators Air Rescue managing director Arun Sharma said they were planning to kick-start the HEMS in southern states from January 1, 2017.
“We are planning to expand the services across the country with 17 helicopters by 2018,” he said.
“We are charging Rs.9,000 per annum for an individual subscription and Rs.18,000 per annum for a four-member family. The charter cost for a medical jet aircraft is Rs.1.75 lakh per hour,” said Sharma. “We are waiting for Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) clearance to land our air ambulances in public spaces,” he said.
Aviators Air Rescue, which has collaborated with Air Medical Group Holdings and Airbus Helicopters, has also tied up with several hospitals across the country.
Aviators Air Rescue has also started a dedicated number - 155350 - for people to call in case of a medical emergency or to subscribe for its services.
“Air ambulances will provide medical aid and airlift critically ill patients from one place to another within the ‘golden hour’. It can also be used for transporting organs or medical drugs from one state to another in a short time without the hassle of negotiating road traffic,” Sharma said.
However, lack of helipads at most of the hospitals is a challenge for the initiative.