Photo courtesy of SouthCare
As Australian air medical and rescue service provider SouthCare prepares for a new owner, news outlets report that its board of trustees has resigned. But despite these changes, the company said last week it would continue to be the primary air medical provider in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) and New South Wales (NSW).
The organization is set to change hands from Canada’s CHC Helicopter to Australia’s Toll Group in April 2017. SouthCare’s board resigned in mid-November — the cause, reportedly, was the board’s upcoming shift in focus from major sponsorship to minor fundraising. One of the largest sponsorship initiatives has been the naming rights sponsorship, which has been occupied by energy company Snowy Hydro Ltd. for more than a decade. It, too, has an unknown fate.
SouthCare’s sole helicopter — a 35-year-old Bell Helicopter 412 that bares the “Snowy Hydro” name on its airframe — is set for replacement. Toll plans to usher in a fleet of Leonardo AW139s, with one designated for SouthCare. The company said that Toll is currently in sponsorship negotiations.
The Leonardo AW139 is larger and faster than the Bell 412 and has greater fuel capacity. It can accommodate up to four stretchers with up to five seats.