Ornge to install permanent medical interiors in AW139s
Sept. 20, 2013, Toronto - Ornge, Ontario’s provider of air ambulance and related services, announced plans to procure and install a permanent medical interior for its AW139 helicopter fleet, which will further improve care for patients requiring air ambulance transport.
By Carey Fredericks
“By outfitting our helicopters with an enhanced medical interior, we are honouring a commitment made to our frontline paramedics to ensure they have an optimal workspace, which will provide the best and safest possible environment for our patients,” said Dr. Andrew McCallum, President and CEO of Ornge.
Ornge frontline and management staff have been working to develop criteria for an improved AW139 helicopter interior. Based on this feedback, a Request for Proposals has been issued for a permanent medical interior to be installed in Ornge’s fleet of 10 AW139 helicopters. In particular, Ornge is seeking a permanent interior that allows for a quicker, more efficient process of loading and unloading patients from hospitals or scenes.
In early 2012, Ornge's new leadership acted immediately to address concerns brought forward by frontline paramedics about their ability to perform certain medical procedures effectively in the AW139 interior. Since Feb. 2, 2013, Ornge has been using an interim interior, approved by Transport Canada, in its AW139 aircraft, which allows for life-saving CPR to be performed during all phases of flight if necessary for the patient, as well as other medical procedures.
Upon completion of the competitive RFP process, the successful vendor will design and build the permanent interior, which will undergo extensive testing before it is installed in the full fleet. It is expected this process will take approximately 24 months.
This measure builds on recent improvements at Ornge, including an improved patient relations process, the hiring of a patient advocate, and introduction of a new conflict of interest policy and a whistleblower protection policy.