Resources companies Senex Energy and Drillsearch Energy are sponsoring a Bell 206 Longranger to operate 24 hour medical air ambulance services in the Cooper Basin in South Australia/Queensland in the Australian Outback. The service is the first for the remote region which is a significant onshore oil and gas exploration site, where 4,000-5,000 people can be working on oil and gas projects at any one time.
The Cooper Medicac 24, operated by Heliwest and based at Moomba in South Australia, provides 24 hour service as the pilots are equipped with night vision goggles. The service complements and enhances the existing emergency response capabilities of the Royal Flying Doctor Service’s (RFDS) fixed-wing air ambulance services at the nearest available airstrip.
Photo courtesy Heliwest
The service is already proving invaluable to the local community and in its first days of operation was called out twice to emergencies. This included the helicopter airlifting a victim of a motorbike accident in the Simpson Desert to paramedics within five hours and connecting to the RFDS. Without the helicopter, the rescue would have required a lengthy 4WD ambulance trip, traveling over rough terrain.
“We have a duty of care to our people working in the field, as well as a broader role in the Cooper Basin community, so we think this is an important initiative to be involved with,” says Drillsearch managing director Brad Lingo.
Related: EMS News