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Major boost for Canary rescues as two top-range helicopters join fleet 

Minister of Health, José Manuel Baltar, presented in Fuerteventura the two new medicalised helicopters of the Canary Islands Emergency Service (SUC) of the Canary Islands Government that operate in the archipelago after the award of the new tender.

The renewal of the aircraft allows the incorporation of the latest advances in the transport service and air health care in the Canary Islands, both from a technical point of view and in medical equipment, with a model that best fits the type of missions carried out in the Canary Islands , one of the regions with the highest number of flight hours in European health operations.

During the event, which was held at the football pitch of Morro Jable, in the municipality of Pájara, Sr. Baltar was accompanied by the president of the Cabildo, Marcial Morales, and the Mayor of Pájara, Rafael Perdomo, as well as the director of the Service Canario de la Salud, Conrado Domínguez; the territorial directors of the SUC, Luis Cabrera and Marcela Posca; the manager of the public company GSC, Luis Rodríguez Neyra, and the commercial director of the Babcock group, Jacobo Landeira.

The health minister stressed that “the new helicopters are better adapted to the special characteristics of our territory, which improves the quality of care in the air movement of patients with serious conditions, both in primary services and interhospital transfers between islands.”

President of the Cabildo of Fuerteventura, Marcial Morales, described it as “great news for the Canaries and important progress in the quality of the new helicopters of the SUC” which will result in an improvement of the service provision for the citizens.

The two medical helico-pters of the SUC, one based at Gran Canaria Airport and another in Tenerife South, operate 365 days a year.

The crew, composed of a commander and a pilot, is joined by an advanced life support medical equipment (HEMS), with doctor and nurse.

The new helicopters, model EC145-C2, have greater autonomy of flight which allows them to travel greater distances without refuelling and thus diminish the time of response before an urgent transfer from any island of the archipelago.

In addition, the cabin dimension is extended, which allows the transfer of larger patients and also offers the possibility to transfer two patients at the same time if necessary, both with two stretchers and incorporating a third seat, which could also be occupied by a companion.

Another characteristic is the greater power in its engines, which facilitates the accomplishment of the operations of landing and takeoff in altitudes superiors to the 2,000 metres.

As would be expected, the helicopters have all the latest equipment, including an incubator for new-born babies.

The contract for air transport services by means of advanced life support helicopters was awarded to Babcock Mission Critical Services Spain SAU for an amount of more than 17 million euros for a period of six years.