SOFEX 2016

Missions of mercy [SOFEX16D2]

11 May 2016

Jordan’s newest emergency medical service, the Jordan Air Ambulance Centre (JAAC), is exhibiting one of its Leonardo (AgustaWestland) AW139s at SOFEX, highlighting the vital work of this recently established venture. ‘EMS 2’, on display here, is one of two AW139s that were graciously provided to the JAAC by His Majesty King Abdullah II, complete with intensive care and other medical equipment. Both helicopters are based here at Marka airport.

His Majesty formally opened the JAAC for operations in August 2015. It is projected to handle some 250 medical evacuations during the course of this year, with demand rising to about 400 a year by 2020.

Medevac by air is seen as a crucial service in a country where many outlying areas lack hospitals with specialist facilities, and where even ground transportation might not be available to all patients. Transferring emergency cases by helicopter can cut travel times from four hours to one when moving patients from the far south to hospitals in Amman.

JAAC’s helicopters can also be called in to aid other emergency services in the event of major incidents.

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