MEDIICNE HAT, AB — Since 2007, HALO Air Rescue has provided medevac assistance to southern Alberta and southwest Saskatchewan.
On Thursday, HALO unveiled their twin engine BK117 chopper which was approved for service last week by Transport Canada.
It already has completed two successful missions; a search and rescue on September 28th, and attended a medical emergency the day after.
Tricia Nardari, secretary on the HALO Board, says both helicopters will be available for use but they’ll typically use the newer helicopter.
“Essentially we’re going to only have one in service at a time. Rangeland isn’t going to staff both helicopters, but we will make sure there is helicopter available at all times,” said Nardari.
Steve Harmer, chief pilot of Rangeland Helicopters, says the new chopper has more space on board which allows paramedics full body access during flight.
“We can carry four sitting people that could be two paramedics plus two staff or in a horrendous situation like a Humboldt we could carry extra paramedics to a scene. We can also carry one stretcher all the time but we have the ability to put a second stretcher in very rapidly if we need too,” said Harmer.
Harmer says this helicopter can travel 40 km/h faster and has the capability to fly at night, possibly allowing halo to expand their service.
He says they've been working closely with ems staff to make sure there's the proper equipment on board.
“We’ve had a fantastic team of EMS staff both equip the back of the aircraft, accompany us to make the publications like the Standard Operating Procedures to make sure that we are operating to a standard that Alberta Health would want us at.”
Tonight from 6:30 to 9:30 pm you can check out halo's newest addition at the Super T Aviation Hanger at the Medicine Hat Airport.
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