Experts favour chopper emergency service

At a national seminar here on Helicopter Emergency Medical Services & Development of Helicopters/Helipads, speakers from the Rotary Wing Society of India (RWSI) members and office bearers highlighted several advantages that HEMS can bring, taking the cue from the West, especially the United States.

This, they said, will be useful during natural calamities, fires and terror attacks ccasion

Medical purposes

Speaking on the occasion Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture Sitaram Yechury said: “The committee is in the process of completing a study on use of choppers for medical purposes among other things and it will be produced before the House in the winter session.”

Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) Joint Director General R P Sahi, while echoing the expert opinion said that the authority will look into the various recommendations of the industry and also consider the stakeholders.

Govt thrust needed

Experts also stressed upon the fact that there needs to be a thrust from the governmental institutions for HEMS to take off in the magnitude that it needs to have real impact.

They also urged DGCA to evolve separate guidelines to facilitate the same.
Besides, the need for DGCA to relax certain norms, provide for concessions etc were highlighted.

They also said that there is a need for a separate co-ordinating agency at the national level which would work along with the DGCA to find success in HEMS.

Dial-a-Heli ambulance

The RWSI Southern Region President and Chief Test Pilot, HAL  Rotary Wing, Unnikrishna Pillai said that ‘Dial-a-heli ambulance’ will become a reality in the next ten years.

He said that India currently has about 250 odd choppers which is slated to double in three years and grow over five-fold in the next seven years and HEMS is also pegged to grow with this, in turn making such a thing a reality.

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