Air Ambulance helicopter contract extended

AMBULANCE Victoria (AV) has extended its contract with Babcock Australasia (Babcock) to continue providing air ambulance operations to support paramedics in providing Best Care to patients across Victoria.

The five-year extension of the existing arrangement for the Air Ambulance helicopter fleet, valued at more than $370 million, will come into effect from January 1, 2026.

AV Chief Executive, Jane Miller said the renewed partnership, which first commenced in January 2016, would ensure AV continued to provide safe, timely and expert patient care during some of Victoria’s most logistically complex emergencies.

“This partnership helps us provide the highest level of care for every patient, no matter where they are located across the state,” Ms Miller said.

“Someone experiencing a medical emergency in a rural location can quickly receive expert care from our ground crews, further clinical support and expertise from our MICA Flight Paramedics and definitive care from a flight to one of Victoria’s high-quality trauma centres. It’s an impressive service.

“It’s comforting for the community to know that if ever something happens in the remote and far-reaching locations of Victoria – and some parts of New South Wales, South Australia and Tasmania – AV is equipped to provide the best possible emergency response.

“This agreement will ensure patients who need AV’s Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) continue to receive Best Care right across Victoria.”

Last year, AV’s HEMS responded to 2197 incidents, with an average of 200 cases each month.

AV Acting Manager Air Operations, Rupert Freeman said Babcock provided AV’s HEMS operations with five AW139 helicopters and a service assurance aircraft.

“AV is in its eighth year working alongside our Babcock colleagues and we’re pleased to continue this partnership, which places a strong focus on serving the Victorian community,” he said.

The partnership has been extended to December 31 2030.