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December 2012

People wheeling trolley to plane jpeg

One of Air Ambulance Victoria’s fleet takes a patient on board.

Historic milestone for Victoria’s air ambulances

Minister for Health David Davis paid tribute to Victoria’s air ambulance service as it celebrated 50 dedicated years of flying patients in critical life threatening emergencies.

Around 100 people, including flight paramedics, pilots, navigators and past patients and families, gathered at Essendon Airport to mark the 50th anniversary of Air Ambulance Victoria.

‘Air Ambulance Victoria is the oldest aero medical helicopter service in Australia and one of the oldest in the world,’ Mr Davis said.

‘Air Ambulance operates five emergency response helicopters and four fixed-wing planes and last year alone transported more than 1,800 patients by helicopter and nearly 5,000 patients by plane.

‘Throughout the past five decades, many tens of thousands of lives have been saved by this world-class service.

‘I would like to recognise and acknowledge the 64 flight paramedics, pilots, navigators and nurses, both current and past, who have made a significant contribution to Air Ambulance Victoria,’ Mr Davis said.

‘It is important to also pay tribute to the flight nurses, pilots and patients who have sadly died in the line of duty.

‘Nine people lost their lives in two separate incidents in 1970 and 1986.’