Nova Scotia is moving to add two Sikorsky 76 C+ helicopters to its EHS LifeFlight service.
“With this decision, Nova Scotia’s air ambulance service will be even better equipped to respond to emergencies all over the province and elsewhere in the Maritimes,” said Health and Wellness Minister Leo Glavine.
Nova Scotia is concluding negotiations to amend the existing contract with its current LifeFlight helicopter provider, Canadian Helicopters Limited, to provide two S-76 C+ helicopters. This will allow continuous service, even when one helicopter is being maintained. One helicopter will be in service at all times.
Once an agreement is signed, the helicopters will take about six months to arrive.
“We considered all the options available, including buying the helicopters ourselves,” said Mr. Glavine. “I’m confident that by amending our existing agreement with Canadian Helicopters Limited, we will be able to replace our LifeFlight helicopter safely, quickly and at a good value.”
This is the same model that is used in British Columbia’s air ambulance service. Late last week, Transport Canada confirmed after a four-month review of the S-76 C+ that it is approved to land on H1 helipads across the country.
Nova Scotia currently has a single Sikorsky S-76 A helicopter operating EHS LifeFlight service. It was manufactured in 1980. While it has an excellent safety record, it has not been able to land on helipads in Halifax and Digby since April due to a change in the application of Transport Canada regulations.
Since then, EHS LifeFlight helicopter has been landing at the Point Pleasant Park helipad in Halifax, and at the Digby airport.