TORONTO, June 4, 2013 /CNW/ - Ornge, Ontario's provider of air ambulance and related services, announced today it is returning its Sikorsky S76 helicopters to service.
On Friday May 31st, Ornge voluntarily and temporarily took its five Sikorsky S76 helicopters offline out of an abundance of caution following a fatal accident involving an Ornge air ambulance helicopter in Moosonee. Ornge fixed wing aircraft, standing agreement carriers and local EMS services continued to be available to perform patient transports in this region.
While the accident remains under investigation, preliminary information communicated to Ornge by the Transportation Safety Board did not raise concerns regarding the S76 fleet, and Ornge officials are confident they are safe to return to service.
The S76 is flown out of bases in Thunder Bay and Kenora. Contingency plans to restore helicopter service in Moosonee are being developed. Further information will be communicated as it becomes available. Fixed wing aircraft will continue to be used for patient transport through the James Bay region during this time.
Ornge staff across the province continue to mourn the loss of the four members of the Ornge crew who died in the crash: Captain Don Filliter, First Officer Jacques Dupuy, Flight Paramedic Dustin Dagenais, and Flight Paramedic Chris Snowball.
"We wish to express our thanks for the overwhelming outpouring of support we have received from the Ontario public as well as EMS, healthcare and aviation services across Canada and around the world," said Dr. Andrew McCallum, President and CEO of Ornge. "The entire organization remains steadfast in its dedication and commitment to the patients of Ontario during this difficult time."
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