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Business Air News Bulletin
Business Air News Bulletin
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Babcock extends provision to remote Australian regions
Babcock Australasia's MD of aviation and critical services Darren Moncrieff says Babcock has delivered a reliable operation to the Torres Strait community since 2007. Local government has pitched in with significant funding.
This contract extension builds on a longstanding 12-year relationship with Queensland Health.

Babcock Australasia's HEMS contract with the Queensland Government has been extended by three years, ensuring ongoing and improved access to emergency medical services for communities in the Torres Strait and Northern Peninsula regions of Australia. Babcock will continue to deliver aerial support for emergency medical services, including inter-hospital transfers, primary medical evacuation and SAR to regional and remote communities through to June 2024. The organisation recently extended another HEMS contract with the Government of South Australia for a further year.

In addition to the extension, the Queensland Government has provided a $1.34 million funding boost that will also provide a second dedicated mission-modified Bell 412 helicopter, both of which operate from Babcock's purpose-built facility at Horn Island airport.

Babcock Australasia's MD of aviation and critical services Darren Moncrieff says Babcock has delivered a reliable rescue helicopter operation to the Torres Strait community since 2007. “Our highly skilled pilots and aircrew and rescue officers assist the doctors and paramedics on aeromedical retrievals, search and rescue, emergency and counter disaster taskings. They work as an integrated team to transfer patients, including winching operations, to retrieve patients or persons being rescued.

“Our operations are around the clock, with crews flying more than 600 hours and responding to more than 430 missions per year. Babcock teams perform both day and night operations, which can prove challenging in the Torres Strait, a region that is prone to extreme weather conditions and where transportation to hospital facilities is limited. The knowledge and experience of our pilots ensure the flight routes are planned and conducted safely and efficiently. This contract extension builds on a longstanding 12-year relationship with Queensland Health.”

Executive director of Queensland Health's Aeromedical Retrieval and Disaster Management Unit, Dr Mark Elcock, says the contract extension and additional helicopter will ensure continuity of vital services to Australia's northernmost communities: “Providing health services can be a challenge because of the distance between the region's main hospitals and outer-lying islands, so it's critical that we have an emergency helicopter service that is reliable, available and experienced. We have that in Babcock, which has provided exceptional aeromedical support for the past 12 years, helping us save countless lives.”

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