The following page provides a range of photos of HEMS 2
(Helimed 1) since it's inception in the early 1980's





On the 30th June, 1980,  Latrobe Valley Ambulance Service signed a contract with the NSCA (Victorian Division) to provide helicopter transport & retrieval services.   The service initially began using a Hughes 500D - a single engined, VFR, five seater helicopter.  The aircraft was limited to carrying 1 stretcher patient and 1 attendant, or alternatively 3 sitting  patients and the attendant.  The Hughes 500D's significant weight and  range limitations saw it being replaced by the more efficient Bell 206 Long Ranger in early 1982. 


In 1982, the Hughes 500D was replaced with the single engined, VFR, Bell 206L LongRanger, capable of carrying a rang of configurations including two stretcher patients (shown below); or a single patient with 2 sitting patients and the attendant.  This aircraft remained in Service until 1985 when the Bell 206L was replaced with the Bell 412.

Pictured below are two of NSCA's (Victorian Division) Bell 206L Long Rangers including an internal view of the double patient load configuration.





Latrobe Valley's Bell 412 was introduced to Service in 1985 still operated by  the NSCA, but now named Helimed 1.  Pictured in it's original paint scheme.

Crewed by a Pilot, Observer and 1 MICA Flight Paramedic, the twin engined, IFR, 15 seater aircraft can carry 2 stretcher patients or 1  stretcher and 4 sitting.  Powered by it's   2 x PT6T-3DE engines with 1920 shaft horse power, it can cruise at 120 knots with a normal operating range of  300 km.  Other features include a 76 metre  rescue hoist capable of lifting 272 kg and  a  Nitesun directional search light with 30 million candlepower.


Pictured in 1986 is the Bell 412 in it's second paint scheme.  


In March 1989, the NSCA folded and the Ambulance Service was left without a Helicopter.  Initially the Service entered into a month by month contract with Jayrow Helicopters using a 5 seat, VFR, twin engined Squirrel Helicopter. In June 1989, Lloyd Helicopters purchased NSCA's Helicopter Ambulance and entered into a 3 year contract with the Ambulance Service keeping the Helimed 1 title, but adopting a new paint scheme.





In 1997, Helimed 1 came under control of Victoria's Air Ambulance where it remains today, but still operating out of the LaTrobe Valley aerodrome. With the change in management, also came the new color scheme.


In 2003,  Air Ambulance Victoria restructured it's 3 retrieval helicopters, and Helimed 1 was renamed HEMS 2 (Helicopter Emergency Medical Services), and again came a new paint scheme as shown below.

Special Thanks For Photos
Edward Chisholm

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