New Emergency Air Response System To Be In Place By 2020
2019-06-17
Since 2017, huge steps in emergency response for mountaineers in Tibet have been underway, with three new rescue bases being built in the Tibet Autonomous Region to cater to emergencies on the region’s high mountain slopes. The project was begun in 2017 by the Lhasa Xueying General Aviation Co, and each of the three bases that were originally proposed would have a flight radius of around 300 kilometers for air-lift rescues. This massive construction project is nearing completion, and is now expected to be up and running before the 2020 mountaineering season next May.  With five helicopters already at the company’s base in Lhasa, and another two planned to be bought in the second half of 2019 to cover Shigatse and Lhoka, this amazing service will bring some much-needed safety to the mountains of Tibet.
 
 Emergency Medical crews load the helicopters for use in Tibetan rescues.
Emergency Medical crews load the helicopters for use in Tibetan rescues.
 
According to the Vice President of the Lhasa Xueying General Aviation Co, Songtsen, air rescue allows for a faster response time in the event of emergencies on the mountains and across the plateau. Emergencies often involve tourists, in situations such as fire control, medical conditions, climbing fatigue, and car accidents, and the helicopters will fill a regional gap in emergency medical rescue assistance. The helicopters are being proposed as a key attempt to link the ground rescue services with modern air rescue services, which can already be found in most counties with mountainous regions. The Lhasa Xueying General Aviation Company is a joint venture between the Nanjing-based Ruoer General Aviation Development Group and the local Lhasa government.
 
 An emergency helicopter flies over Nam Co Lake in the Tibet Autonomous Region.
An emergency helicopter flies over Nam Co Lake in the Tibet Autonomous Region.
 
This important project is a part of the region’s efforts to meet the plans of the central government to ensure that there is an air rescue system in place by 2020 using helicopters as the main rescue vehicles. Ruoer Group have already been providing services in Tibet, including charter flights, air tours, pilot training courses for high-altitude flying, airborne advertising, air patrols across the plateau, fire prevention education, and aerial photography for mapping on the plateau.
 
 A patient is loaded into the emergency air ambulance to be taken to hospital in Lhasa.
A patient is loaded into the emergency air ambulance to be taken to hospital in Lhasa.
 
For Xiao Jian, who manages the Tibet Yunying Medical Rescue company in Lhasa, this comes as a welcome step forward for rescue services in the region. With few air ambulance services running in Tibet in the past, the death rates from mountain accidents, uncontrolled fires, and car accidents in the region was high. Ground-based services could not get to the sites of the accidents and incidents in time, and many of those deaths could have been prevented with adequate air rescue support.
 
 A doctor seeing a patient brought in by helicopter at a hospital in Nagqu County, Tibet Autonomous Region.
A doctor seeing a patient brought in by helicopter at a hospital in Nagqu County, Tibet Autonomous Region.
 
With the region’s road transport system not yet being well-developed enough to allow fast moving vehicles, air rescue services in Tibet will be a welcomed part of the support for medical rescue services. The air medical services will also be useful for transferring emergency patients, especially those with traumatic and life-threatening injuries, to larger hospitals with the facilities to cope with the patients. It can also help with emergencies in childbirth, getting mothers in dangerous labor situations to hospitals where the right medical equipment is available.
 
 The first emergency rescue center was established in Southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region on September 30, 2017.
The first emergency rescue center was established in Southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region on September 30, 2017.
 
The first air rescue team in Tibet was set up in 2017 by the Tibet Red Cross Society 999 Emergency Rescue Center, who have sine had hundreds of successful life-saving flights. The director of the center, Ma Jun, said that their teams have already undertaken 23 mountain rescues in the region, and have helped the local police with more than a dozen emergency situations in the Lhasa River. He also stated that with the new helicopters becoming available soon, his center will be able to provide enough medical professional crews to man the air rescue helicopters, to ensure medical assistance can also be given on the scene. The crews, whose air rescue doctors are all trained and licensed in Europe, will have access to sophisticated medical equipment for the helicopter rescue services.
TAG: emergency medical helicopters in tibet emergency rescue new helicopters more helicopters by 2020 emergency air response

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