Saving lives from the sky

The missions of Eurocopter helicopters will have a starring role in this year’s Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) air show, demonstrating the unique capability of its rotorcraft to provide vital police, ambulance, fire and rescue support through the interoperability of equipped UK emergency services.

During the RIAT event at RAF Fairford in the Cotswolds on July 20-21, a dramatic rescue scenario will be enacted using three aircraft from Eurocopter’s mid-sized, twin-engine helicopter family: an EC145 outfitted for fire and rescue duties, a police-configured EC135 and an EC135 air ambulance.

The mid-day demonstrations will simulate a major automobile accident, with an EC145 deploying a specialist crew of the London Fire Brigade and their heavy tooling to remove the car’s roof. Monitoring of the accident scene and downlinking of real-time information to a command base station is to be provided by a Police EC135, while the Devon Air Ambulance will perform casualty evacuation from the scene.

These demonstrations are part of the Air Tattoo’s Sky Guardian theme for 2013, which puts the spotlight on civil and military aircraft operators who play an important role safeguarding life, land and liberty – many of which utilize Eurocopter helicopters in the UK benefiting from their commonality and interoperability.

“When time is of the essence, the speed and effectiveness of UK airborne emergency services in responding to an incident can often be the difference between life and death,” explained Markus Steinke, the Managing Director of Eurocopter UK. “A fleet of 50 Eurocopter helicopter from the EC135/EC145 family operate daily across the country, serving as the nation's backbone for highly demanding missions in search, surveillance, crime detection and casualty evacuation.”

Before and after performing their duties at the RIAT’s simulated accident scene, the three helicopters and crews will be at the air show’s static park display for visits.

“The daily demonstrations at RIAT will be a rare opportunity for the public to witness the airborne emergency services’ skill and bravery, often working in situations none of us would want to find ourselves in,” said Air Tattoo Chief Executive Tim Prince. “We are grateful to Eurocopter, whose EC135 helicopter is the aircraft of choice for the UK emergency services, for offering us the opportunity to salute the role of these unsung heroes.”

Source: Eurocopter, an EADS N.V. company (Paris: EAD.PA)
Date: Jul 18, 2013