Ornge making progress with helicopter flights to USA

MISSISSAUGA, ON, Sept. 5, 2012 /CNW/ - Ornge is improving the quality of patient care with approval to fly air ambulance helicopters in U.S. airspace.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has approved Ornge's application to fly helicopters to the U.S., allowing Ornge's air ambulance helicopter fleet to fly in U.S. airspace and transport patients to or from any U.S. destination.

"The hard work, dedication and know-how of our entire aviation team has paid off with a successful application to fly Ornge helicopters to the U.S." said Ron McKerlie, Interim CEO of Ornge. "While helicopter patient transports to the U.S. are rare, this offers one more option to ensure patients receive the care they need."

Last week, Ornge announced the appointment of Denise Polgar as its first Patient Advocate. Ms. Polger will work with patients and families to resolve their concerns about patient care and service. She will also advocate for operational improvements based on lessons learned from the patient complaints process to ensure Ornge is guided by the principles of its new Patient Declaration of Values which can be found at www.ornge.ca/patients/. Ms. Polger has extensive experience in emergency services and hospital settings, having worked as a paramedic, an ambulance dispatcher and trainer, a program developer and coordinator for emergency telecommunications, and as an injury prevention specialist.

Ornge, a not-for-profit organization, coordinates all aspects of Ontario's air ambulance system, the critical care land transport program, paediatric transport program and the authorization of air and land ambulance transfers between hospitals.

Backgrounder on FAA Approval of Ornge Helicopter Flights to U.S.A.

Ornge submitted its foreign air carrier application to the FAA after it was granted an air operator certificate from Transport Canada for helicopter operations. During the application process, the FAA determines if an air carrier's systems are designed to meet all regulatory requirements before the issuance of approval.

Through a rigorous process, FAA officials vetted aviation documentation, including policy and training manuals, procedures, and certificates of airworthiness, and determined Ornge to be in compliance with its regulations.

Throughout the application process, Ornge operations had implemented protocols to address any cross border transports, relying on a number of U.S. based EMS agencies that are staffed with advanced life support emergency medical teams and equipment to support Ornge through this period. During the application process, Ornge PC-12NG airplanes continued to transport to and from the U.S.


For further information:

Media Contact:
James MacDonald

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