New Powered Aero Loader stretcher system to be installed in Ornge helicopters

Ornge, Ontario’s provider of air ambulance and related services, and HeliMods, an Australian aerospace technology company, have announced that they have reached an agreement for the installation of an enhanced stretcher system in the Ornge fleet of AW139 helicopters.

Ornge operates a fleet of 12 Leonardo AW139 helicopters from eight bases across the province of Ontario.
Ornge operates a fleet of 12 Leonardo AW139 helicopters from eight bases across the province of Ontario. Mike Reyno Photo
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For Ornge, this agreement follows an exhaustive search and competitive procurement process to find the right solution for Ontario patients and staff. The new system features a self-loading power cot with an equipment bridge, which will be able to hold all medical devices in all phases of flight. The system will also allow Ornge to enhance its current bariatric transport capabilities without reconfiguring the aircraft as it currently does.

The centerpiece is the Powered Aero Loader (PALTM), a zero-lift, push-button operated powered stretcher loader system for rapid loading and unloading of land ambulance stretchers into air ambulance helicopters.

By significantly reducing the need for paramedics to manually lift or transfer patients between different stretchers and vehicles, the PAL improves safety and efficiency and allows for improved response times whilst significantly reducing the risk of patient and paramedic injury.

“When our crews arrive for an on-scene response or at a hospital, our patients expect us to be able to perform their transport in a timely, efficient and safe fashion,” said Dr. Andrew McCallum, president and CEO of Ornge. “The Powered Aero Loader will enhance our ability to achieve this mission, while at the same time ensuring our paramedics have the best and safest possible work environment in which to deliver their life-saving care.”

“This agreement represents a great partnership between two organizations who are well respected in their fields and both committed to the highest standards of quality and safety,” said Will Shrapnel, managing director of HeliMods. “We’re happy to be providing Ornge this great technology that will benefit not only patients, but also the deserving paramedics who will be using it every day to save lives.”

“We look forward to working collaboratively with Ornge on this important project and supporting their fleet into the future.”

Ornge brought a mockup of an AW139 with Helimods' zero-lift Powered Aero Loader to this year's Air Medical Transport Conference in Phoenix, Arizona. Dayna Fedy Photo
Ornge brought a mockup of an AW139 with Helimods’ zero-lift Powered Aero Loader to this year’s Air Medical Transport Conference in Phoenix, Ariz. Dayna Fedy Photo
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HeliMods has an outstanding track record working with helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS) operators and end users to deliver excellent capability outcomes. Their unique approach brings together a range of high-tech design and advanced digital manufacturing tools in a mature process involving high levels of collaboration.

Under this program, Ornge and HeliMods have worked together to find new efficiencies where main elements of the integration can be carried out by Ornge’s engineering team during major services with training and support provided by HeliMods technicians.

Installation will take place on an aircraft-by-aircraft basis and the first PAL-equipped Ornge helicopter is expected to go into service in early 2019.

Quick Facts:

  • Ornge operates a fleet of 12 Leonardo AW139 helicopters from eight bases across the province of Ontario.
  • Ornge air ambulance helicopters perform more than 4,500 patient related transports each year.
  • HeliMods has developed solutions that are used all around the world and help over 25,000 distressed, sick and injured people every year.
  • HeliMods is recognized as one of the most experienced organizations providing special mission products and solutions and has extensive experience developing systems for AW139 helicopters.

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