Civil Helicopters News

Malaysia Launches First Helicopter Ambulance Service

Malaysia Launches First Helicopter Ambulance Service

The Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department has launched the Emergency Medical Air Rescue Services (Emars) as a more cost-effective air ambulance resource for the government.

Officially launched on April 15, the fleet comprises nine helicopters including Mil Mi-17, Agusta A109E, Agusta 139, and Agusta 189. An Agusta A109E helicopter will undergo modification and be equipped with the medical facilities required. 

Local Government Development Minister Nga Kor Ming said Emars will begin operating in Malaysia on May 1 and save the government up to RM15 million (about USD$3.38 million) per year. Previously, the government bore costs of RM20 million annually by using private sector doctors to conduct rescue operations in these rural locations. 

“The air ambulance, which aims to meet the emergency needs of people in rural areas, including Orang Asli villages, will better facilitate rescue and evacuation operations for victims requiring medical treatment,” Nga said.

Datuk Abdul Wahab Mat Yasin, the director-general of the fire and rescue department, said Emars will “transfer victims from hospital to hospital and facilitate access to services for residents in rural areas, especially the Orang Asli community who are known to have difficulty using land routes.” 

Meanwhile, Nga also outlined intentions to expand Emars’ services to the Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak in the future. He further stressed the need to add more pilots, potentially as early as 2024.

“We have six pilots that will be on standby (for rescue missions). We hope to expand the team by next year,” he said. 

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