Aviators Air Rescue brings the much-needed service of air ambulances to India
Captain Nikhil Saolapurkar has been in the aviation industry for 20-odd years now. He noticed that in India there is a lack of helicopter emergency medical services, while in Europe and the US, rescues are accompanied by helicopters on the site. In January this year, the air ambulance service company, Aviators
Air Rescue went live. Nikhil is their chief of air safety.
“In India, even if you have seen a helicopter rescuing victims, it is usually a makeshift one where the seats have been swapped out for a stretcher,” Nikhil says, adding, “There were no dedicated air ambulances that could help victims on the spot.” The company has filled this void with their helicopters, which can land and provide relief with their medical services. It is a scaled-down version of an emergency medical service available abroad.
The helicopter, an EC 130 T2, was on display at the Aero India 2017 in Bengaluru, and has been manufactured by Airbus Helicopters. It has
a medical kit, designed by Air Ambulances Technologies, an Austrian company and is fully equipped with advanced life support systems, such as a ventilator, defibrillator, respirator and whatever more is needed to support the patient. It can accommodate two pilots, one doctor or paramedic and one patient.
“The problem in India comes with landing the helicopters. Our roads do not permit us to make an emergency landing anywhere we need to, due to traffic congestion and such,” explains Nikhil. Even in open spaces, such as a field or park, you need to have prior permission to land. Aviators Air Rescue has already mapped out and identified areas in and around Bengaluru where they can land. They have tied up with ground ambulances to help with their operations. The service is currently available in the five Southern states with helicopters that are based in Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad. The services are also available through a subscription service for families.
— Anagha M