Insights from the first 12 months of Australia’s biggest HEMS operation.

Mr Mark Delany1

1Toll, Bankstown, Australia


Toll Helicopters is the largest operator of AW139 Aeromedical Services in Australia.  The NSW Ambulance and Toll Rescue Helicopter Service operates across the Southern Zone of NSW and the ACT and assists helicopter critical care paramedics and doctors in reaching patients even further away from our bases, quicker than ever before.

The Agusta-Westland 139 helicopter takes critical care; ICU capability via the medical fit out, to the patient, wherever they may be, and allows that care to be delivered mid-air en route to the hospital.  A unified fleet of one model of aircraft operating, for the first time, across the state, provides significant operational flexibility and benefits by ensuring our medical crews are trained on and familiar with the same aircraft operating from all bases.

In the 12 months from January 10, 2017, more than 2000 patients were rescued / retrieved as part of missions from the Southern Zone bases.  In this presentation we would share some of the key learning’s from the first year of operations; our down the wire communication challenges, the downwash signature of the helicopter causing swing and spin events and how utilising the synthetic training devices at The Ace Training Centre, we discovered the D Ring Reversal leading to dynamic roll out of the hook and subsequent scrutiny of our connection systems.

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