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New South Wales (NSW) Premier Gladys Berejiklian and NSW Minister for Health Brad Hazzard have officially opened the new world-standard Bankstown NSW Ambulance & Toll Rescue Helicopter Base, marking a significant milestone for the Helicopter Retrieval Network.
Joined by Toll Global Logistics president Chris Pearce; Toll aircrew; NSW Ambulance chief executive officer Dominic Morgan; and local NSW Ambulance helicopter doctors and critical care paramedics, Berejiklian and Hazzard toured the Bankstown base.
Patient rescue, retrieval and treatment services have been operating from the new NSW Ambulance & Toll Rescue Helicopter Base in Sydney and over 1,200 missions have been completed from Bankstown in the past 12 months. It houses three AW139 aircraft online 24/7 and a state-of-the-art maintenance facility that ensures the entire fleet is ready to respond to any mission across the state of New South Wales.
The NSW Ambulance & Toll Rescue Helicopter fleet is made up of eight new purpose-built, best-in-class AW139 helicopters, which deliver the latest in performance, safety and innovation — assisting NSW Ambulance helicopter doctors and paramedics to reach patients in remote areas, further and faster than ever before.
This contact forms part of the NSW Government’s new state-wide Helicopter Retrieval Network. Under the NSW Government’s Reform Plan for Aeromedical (Rotary-Wing) Retrieval Services in NSW, the state has been divided into two distinct aeromedical retrieval zones – the Northern Zone and Southern Zone.
“Following a rigorous, competitive and exemplary procurement process, NSW Health awarded Toll the 10 year contract to deliver mission-critical services to the Sydney area and southern NSW region including ACT,” said Mark Delany, general manager, Toll Helicopters.
“The communities of NSW and ACT can be assured that they have the safest and most capable aviation operation supporting their ambulance care. We have extensive experience in helicopter services, and our pilots and aircrew are some of the most highly-experienced and trained aviation professionals in the country.”
Twelve months on and more than 2,000 aeromedical missions completed across all Southern Zone bases, the partnership between Toll and NSW Ambulance is delivering the world-class aeromedical service and safety standards required.
The Bankstown Base also includes the ACE Training Centre, a world-class training facility with highly realistic mission simulation technology for all air and medical crew. The purpose-built center includes specialist medical training rooms and helicopter simulation technology such as the Helicopter Underwater Emergency Training (HUET) theater, a virtual reality training system and AW139 full-flight simulator, the only original equipment manufacturer (OEM) sim in Australia.
“Already, we are considered by emergency care providers around the world as the benchmark aeromedical care provider by which they measure their operations and standard of care,” said Morgan.
“This facility ensures every aeromedical staff member will be trained to the highest possible standards.”