HEMS 5 is the 5th EMS Helicopter to be introduced into Victorian
Ambulance  Service and is currently based at Essendon
Airport under Air Ambulance control.





HEMS 5 began operations on the 16th March 2009, operating out of the newly built $18 million Essendon Airport Air Ambulance facility which also operates HEMS 1 and the 4 fixed winged aircraft. 

HEMS 5 primarily role is an interhospital retrieval Helicopter  (transporting critically ill patients from mostly rural hospitals to specialist care in Melbourne) so as to free up the other 4 helicopters for emergencies.  Primary work includes Adult Retreval Services, Paediatric Emergency Transports Services (PETS) and Newborn emergency Transports Services (NETS), as well as a backup for eemergency responses when HEMS 1 is unavailable.

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 a 300 km radius.

HEMS 5 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.

Australian Helicopters provides aircraft, pilots, crew and maintenance for HEMS 5  and workload averages just under 1.5 cases per shift with Paramedics working a 10/14 roster (2 x 10 days shifts, 2 x 14 hour night shifts, 4 days off).
















Special Thanks For Photos
Edward Chisholm


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