Photo courtesy of James Heilman / CC BY-SA 4.0
Three air ambulance helicopters in the British Columbia Emergency Health Services fleet now have night-vision technology, according to a press release from the service.
The equipment collects all available light and amplifies it. While weather and geography still pose challenges for air ambulances, this technology will help many patients who need critical care. It will also keep operators safe during night-time and low-light conditions.
The three helicopters equipped with night-vision technology are based in Vancouver and Prince Rupert. Canada's Ministry of Health says the fourth helicopter in the fleet, based in Kamloops, will be equipped with the technology later this year.
The cost for the equipage is $1.7 million plus training and is shared with the service's operator, Helijet International.
The service responds to nearly 7,000 patients by air ambulance every year, with 2,000 transported by helicopter. The majority of those patients are in the province's North and Interior.