STARS debut new AW139 helicopter

First line responders were on hand during training with the new STARS AW139 helicopter on September 6, 2013 at the Coronation airport.
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First line responders were on hand during training with the new STARS AW139 helicopter on September 6, 2013 at the Coronation airport.

First line responders were on hand during training with the new STARS AW139 helicopter on September 6, 2013 at the Coronation airport.

A small collection of onlookers gathered at Coronation Airport on Friday, September 6 to witness the debut of STARS new donor-funded AW139 helicopter.

The craft landed at the airport at approximately 1:45 p.m. to engage in outreach training in advance of becoming fully operational by the end of September.

According to a STARS press release, the new BK139 incorporates faster response times, a twin engine for greater lifting capacity and a de-icing system to enable prompt responses in unfavourable weather conditions.

Another feature of the new helicopter is a roomier medical interior space and side loading capacities, which Flight Nurse Lucille De Baudrap said is an asset for patients.

“In the [previous model] BK, the area they would load patients into was quite a bit narrower and we would load from the back,” De Baudrap said, noting that the patient would be against a side wall, making uniform access to injury at times a difficult task.

“Here you can access the patient from both sides, and easily,” she says, “So apart from it being faster and doing all these other things, I have better access to the patient.”

The tracks in the interior loading panel are multidimensional, meaning the patient can be loaded at a vertical, horizontal, or slanted motion.

STARS responded 1, 539 times to emergencies in 2012, so the new helicopters are a welcome addition to ensuring safety across the region.

 

 

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