ANI Photo | Civil Aviation Ministry introduces revolutionary Helicopter Emergency Medical Services in India

In a pioneering move, the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) is spearheading a groundbreaking transformation in healthcare with the introduction of the Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) in India.
This strategic initiative is set to redefine medical outreach, ensuring rapid emergency medical care within the crucial golden hour following life-threatening incidents.
The MoCA’s intervention kicked off with the initiation of a pilot project, marking the introduction of utilisation of helicopters in Emergency Medical Services (EMS) roles.
Following a rigorous tender process, a party has been selected to provide a single helicopter in an air ambulance capacity at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Rishikesh helipad for a one-year term. This pioneering project, set for imminent launch, is poised to serve as a blueprint for other states, with Odisha and Madhya Pradesh expressing keen interest in similar services.
The selected helicopter comes fully equipped with an operational Emergency Medical Service (EMS) kit, featuring a stretcher and essential medical equipment, facilitating the transportation of one patient along with one to two medical personnel over a distance of 100 nautical miles.
The medical oversight and direction will be provided by AIIMS Rishikesh, ensuring the availability of necessary medical supplies tailored to the patient’s condition.
The MoCA’s visionary approach extends to the nationwide expansion of HEMS services, envisioning an integrated network that complements land-based ambulances and significantly enhances trauma care accessibility.
Meanwhile, the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh inaugurated the Air Ambulance Services on Saturday, during the Regional Industry Conclave 2024.
The Air Ambulance Service in Madhya Pradesh, headquartered in Bhopal, is poised to revolutionise healthcare across the state. Equipped with both a Heli-ambulance and a Fixed-wing Air Ambulance, this comprehensive service, staffed with highly trained doctors and paramedics, aims to cover all districts and administrative divisions.
A combination of a single-engine helicopter and a fixed-wing plane ensures seamless day and night HEMS operations, with the capability to reach any part of Madhya Pradesh, facilitated by refuelling options at existing airports.
Aligned with the Ayushman Bharat Yojna, the service prioritises stabilising patients at pickup locations before airlifting them to higher medical centres in major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, or Hyderabad, if necessary.
The strategic capabilities of the HEMS team include the ability to land anywhere in the state, with an operational base in Bhopal ensuring rapid response times. An appointed nodal officer serves as the primary liaison for medical transfers, streamlining communication between district medical officers and the Air Ambulance Command Center.
The introduction of Rapid Response Emergency Medical Systems (RREMS) integrates remote monitoring, enabling real-time assessment of critical patients by the International Critical Care Air Transfer Team (ICATT) Command Center in Bhopal. This innovative system optimises aircraft and medical team usage, ensuring a timely and efficient response to medical emergencies.
Pawan Hans, in collaboration with ICATT, contributes to this initiative by deploying a Bell 407 Helicopter equipped with essential medical facilities. This collaboration underscores Pawan Hans’ commitment to societal welfare and its active participation in life-saving missions.
ICATT Air Ambulance Services, Asia’s largest air ambulance service, is led by critical care specialist doctors who have over a decade of experience. Renowned for its expertise and proven concept of HEMS during the 2018 Kerala floods, ICATT is at the forefront of revolutionising air ambulance services in India

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