Regional and remote patients are set to be the real benefactors after NSW Ambulance welcomed two new aircraft to its fleet earlier this month.
The Pilatus PC-24 jets are expected to assist in the transfer of more than 6,000 patients annually, in both an emergency and scheduled capacity.
The aircraft is thanks to a $54.3 million state government plan to increase the capability of aeromedical operations.
Minister for Health Ryan Park said each jet was equipped with the latest technology and medical equipment to better serve patients, flight nurses, doctors and pilots.
“These jets can fly faster and further without the need for refuelling and they will be an invaluable resource for communities in regional, rural and remote NSW,” he said.
“Whether responding to a motor vehicle accident or transferring a critically ill patient from a regional hospital to a tertiary health facility, these PC-24 aircraft will be a major boost for the health of regional and remote communities throughout NSW.
“NSW Ambulance is the first state government ambulance service in Australia to specifically design the PC-24 interior and patient fit-out for aeromedical operations.”
NSW Ambulance Commissioner Dr Dominic Morgan said flight nurse training had started for the PC-24 jets.
“Our dedicated team of flight nurses, doctors and pilots already provide high-level clinical care for all patients throughout NSW,” he explained.
“That level of care will be enhanced thanks to the increased range, speed and optimised internal medical fit-out of these aircraft.
“These two new jets will complement the existing five Beechcraft King Air 350C planes in the NSW Ambulance fleet.”
The PC-24 aircraft will be operated and maintained by Pel-Air, as part of a 10-year contract with NSW Ambulance.
Pel-Air chairman John Sharp AM said they would be the first jet aircraft to join the NSW Ambulance fleet.
“Pel-Air congratulates NSW Ambulance for making this significant visionary investment in aerial emergency medical response,” Mr Sharp said.
“This aircraft is a game-changer for aeromedical services in a state as vast as NSW, and will help NSW Ambulance save lives.”
Aerolite, Switzerland and Total Aerospace Solutions in Sydney have been contracted to complete the medical fit out of the Pilatus PC-24s.
NSW Ambulance Fixed Wing Operations clinicians transport more than 6,000 patients every year.
Both PC-24s aircraft will be ready to take to the skies to treat and transport patients by mid-2024.
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