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HEMS 4 is the fourth EMS Helicopter to be introduced into Victorian
Ambulance Service and is currently based at Warrnambool
Airport under Air Ambulance control.

 

 
 
 

Following a a 12-year community campaign, in April 2008, the State Government announced funds would finally be made available for the establishment of a new $10 million helicopter based at Warrnambool to be designated HEMS 4 for responses to trauma, medical, and urgent hospital transfer cases and will have the capacity to be involved in search and rescue operations

The twin engined Bell 412-EP was imported from Canada In February  and it took a team of technicians in Brisbane 12 weeks to convert a basic chopper into an aerial emergency medical unit. with 150 major modifications from a ‘standard’ helicopter including specialist communications equipment, a  Nitesun directional search light with 30 million candlepower, a high speed 76m winch, and an electronics system  that will enable it to fly and land automatically.  Powered by it's 2 x PT6T-3DE engines with 1920 shaft horse power, it can cruise at 242 kilometres an hour with a normal operating range of  300 km radius making a trip from Warrnambool to Melbourne in less than 1 hour.

HEMS 4 is crewed by a Pilot, an Observer and 1 MICA Flight Paramedic. It is set up to carry 1  stretcher and 4 sitting patients or 2 stretcher patients, a vast array of medical equipment as found on the the standard road MICA units including Ambulance stretcher, oxygen resuscitator, advanced airway equipment, defibrillator, standard IV and drug kits, vacuum mattress and other trauma equipment, with additional gear including a patient ventilator and Propac monitor.  The aircraft is painted with standard AV delivery.
 
The newly build $1.5 million facility at the Warrnambool airport includes hangar, crew and paramedic facilities, which allow for staff to sleep on-site to facilitate 24-hour coverage. Paramedics work a 10/14 roster (2 x 10 days shifts, 2 x 14 hour night shifts, 4 days off)

HEMS 4 was officially welcomed to its new base on 26 June 2009 in a ceremony attended by the Health Minister, the Hon. Daniel Andrews, MP and officially entered service on 1 July 2009.

Australian Helicopters provides aircraft, pilots, crew and maintenance for HEMS 4. and operating costs are estimated at $2 million per year.

HEMS 4 began operations on the 1st July 2009, operating out of Warnambool Airport and in it's first 12 months attended 81 time critical medical emergencies and conducted 74 inter-hospitals transfers. The helicopter has also performed six search and rescue operations, (a total average of just under 1 case every 4 shifts).

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Special Thanks For Photos
From
Edward Chisholm

and
Brian Ritchie

 
 
 

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