HAI reveals additional Salute to Excellence recipients

Helicopter Association International (HAI) has announced that the Trinidad and Tobago Air Guard is the 2017 winner of HAI’s Salute to Excellence Leonardo Humanitarian Service Award; and Era Search and Rescue is the 2017 winner of HAI’s Salute to Excellence Airbus Helicopters Golden Hour Award.

Trinidad and Tobago Air Guard to receive HAI’s Salute to Excellence Leonardo Humanitarian Service Award

HAI has announced that the Trinidad and Tobago Air Guard is the 2017 winner of HAI’s Salute to Excellence Leonardo Humanitarian Service Award.

The Trinidad and Tobago Air Guard operates four AW139 helicopters, and has expanded its capabilities and its achievements in the decade since it was formed out of the Coast Guard Air Wing. HAI Photo
The Trinidad and Tobago Air Guard operates four AW139 helicopters, and has expanded its capabilities and its achievements in the decade since it was formed out of the Coast Guard Air Wing. HAI Photo
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The Trinidad and Tobago Air Guard has provided an invaluable service far past its shores for the benefit of those in other Caribbean nations. Operating both helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft, the Trinidad and Tobago Air Guard has accomplished tremendous achievements since its founding in 2005.

The Air Guard is looked upon by Caribbean Community nations with admiration and support for the humanitarian services it provides in response to natural disasters, medical emergencies and security threats.

The Trinidad and Tobago Air Guard operates two Metro Merlin C-26B fixed-wing and four AW139 helicopters, and has expanded its capabilities and its achievements in the decade since it was formed out of the Coast Guard Air Wing. The unit has rescued lost hikers, airlifted victims of shark attacks and injured sailors, fought and extinguished threatening bush fires, helped vessels in distress, evacuated stranded individuals from otherwise inaccessible land and conducted medical evacuations from vessels at sea. It regularly is deployed to perform complex missions both at home and in the wider Caribbean region. It has provided support to St. Lucia, St. Vincent and Domenica during floods and natural disasters and on a regular basis transports critically ill and injured patients from the island of Tobago to the hospital in Trinidad.

The Air Guard’s mission scope exceeds that of larger countries and those with much greater resources.

Era Search and Rescue to receive HAI’s Salute to Excellence Airbus Helicopters Golden Hour Award

HAI also announced that Era Search and Rescue, a service line of Era Group Inc., is the 2017 winner of HAI’s Salute to Excellence Airbus Helicopters Golden Hour Award.

Era pioneered the first U.S. commercial search-and-rescue (SAR) program, in partnership with Priority 1 Air Rescue (P1AR). Era’s SAR program has responded to more than 1,050 emergency calls from more than 70 companies in the Gulf of Mexico.

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Operating three SAR-equipped AW139 medium helicopters from Houma, Louisiana, and Galveston, Texas, Era was the first emergency flight services provider to configure the AW139 for full SAR mission capabilities. As the only SAR provider that is medically licensed in Texas and Louisiana, Era’s SAR program provides 24-hour offshore advanced life support medical care on the U.S. Gulf of Mexico Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).

The SAR program is supported by four Era dispatchers certified as emergency medical dispatchers; 18 pilots qualified in instrument flight rules, night vision goggles, air ambulance, and hoist rescues; and 36 P1AR medically qualified rescue specialists — making it the most comprehensive program serving the OCS. Era’s SAR program can support local, state and federal crisis emergency response efforts for various emergency situations.

Era SAR is considered one of the world’s premier SAR operations, able to conduct emergency response in extreme environments. Era participated in the Coast Guard’s Arctic Technology Evaluation 2015 Search and Rescue Exercise on Alaska’s North Slope to identify the benefits to SAR missions of the integration of manned and unmanned aerial systems. This exercise showed the capabilities and expertise of participants in support of arctic SAR efforts and other such missions.

Era AW139 SAR pilots worked with P1AR crews to establish interoperability among marine and aviation assets during recovery at the rescue scene.

Both awards will be presented at HAI’s Salute to Excellence Awards dinner at HAI Heli-Expo 2017 in Dallas, Texas.

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