Since 2013, Australian Helicopters has been the chosen provider of three Bell 412 helicopters in support of the CHRS along with the Mackay Airport-based Central Queensland Rescue Helicopter Service (CQ Rescue). Bell 412 VH-LSY is considered to be an 'operational spare' for the main Bell 412EP choppers VH-EPR (CHRS) and VH-CQJ (CQ Rescue)
Each rescue helicopter can be configured to accommodate five crew and a single stretcher or three crew and two stretchers in the cabin, along with a passenger or additional crew member up front next to the pilot.
Role equipment on board the helicopters include a variable speed rescue winch with a 250ft long cable, capable of supporting a two person operation (or up to 270 kg). They also have a cargo hook with fire fighting bucket capability, night search light and night vision device and a homing beacon.
Technology on the flight deck includes an aircraft tracking device, autopilot, weather radar / storm scope, IFR GPS, communication and navigation radios to enable IFR flight including and HF radio, cockpit voice recorder, flight data recorder, helicopter terrain and warning system, airframe health and usage monitoring system, engine monitoring systems and an airframe / engine vibration monitoring system.
Installed Emergency Services Communication Equipment (ESCE) include marine VHF high band radio, QAS / QFRS VHF low band radio, QPS / CB / Rural Fire UHF band radio and digital mobile phone.
Medical equipment include a QAS trauma kit, medical oxygen (2 x “D” size cylinders), vital signs monitor with defibrillator (Lifepak 12), ventilation (Oxylog 1000), syringe driver (Braun Compact) and mounting for second syringe driver, mounting for IVAC, electric powered medical suction inlets / outlets, intravenous equipment, 2 x patient stretcher systems, the ability to transport a neonatal intensive care cot, 12 volt power outlets, high intensity adjustable field of work medical lighting suitable to night flying and purpose built medical storage areas.
The RACQ / Capricorn Helicopter Rescue Service (CHRS) was incorporated in December 1995 and commenced operations a short time later in January 1996. It provides a 24 hours a day / 365 days a year aero-medical and rapid rescue response service that is free of charge, and operates under a five year rolling contract agreement with the Queensland Government (Queensland Health Department).
Whether in the bush, at sea or a distant mine site, the CHRS is able to despatch medical or rescue teams to those in need of rapid assistance, as well as provide an airborne intensive care unit to transfer critically injured or ill patients to a more appropriate medical facility, or even conduct a search and rescue mission.
To operate the CHRS, 40% of required funding comes from the Queensland Government while the remaining 60% is funded through donations and proceeds from the public. Needless to say, the CHRS deeply appreciates all fundraising efforts and extremely appreciative of the donations from the Creed family after holding the annual Old Station Fly-In at Raglan, along with fundraising efforts in association with the recent Rescue Chopper Day.
To learn more about the RACQ / Capricorn Helicopter Rescue Service (CHRS), or do make a donation ans support this vital rescue service, visit their official page at: http://chrs.org.au/
All photos taken by Col ©