Live at 10:00am - 11 August
24-hr access for emergency movements and our proximity to major hospitals plays a major part in making Essendon Fields the vital emergency services hub that it is today.
Over 8,000 annual incidents are attended by Air Ambulance Victoria and the Victoria Police Air Wing alone. Thousands of other emergency flights pass through our airport each year, ranging from medical evacuations, to search and rescue missions and urgent organ transport.
Officially formed in 1975, the Victorian Police Air Wing is the aviation unit of the Victoria Police. Operating a fleet of aircraft, the Police Air Wing provides State-wide services including crime prevention and detection, search and rescue and operation activities.
In 2020 the Air Wing replaced its fleet of Dauphin helicopters with 3 new Leonardo AW139 helicopters, outfitted with advanced mission consoles, cameras and rescue hoists. The force also introduced a Beechcraft Super King Air aeroplane to the fleet for the first time, to assist with long range surveillance activity.
Air Ambulance paramedics are specially trained to perform advanced treatments in challenging environments. Two Leonardo HEMS (Helicopter Emergency Medical Service) and four custom-designed Beechcraft King Air B-200C planes operate from Essendon Fields, and the base is an important link for three other regional HEMS aircraft based in the Latrobe Valley, Bendigo and Warrnambool.
Most helicopter callouts are for life-threatening emergencies, which are mainly trauma and paediatric cases, while the fixed wing aircraft are used in emergencies and for the routine transport of non-emergency patients, requiring important treatments such as chemo and radiotherapy.
From their EF Airport home base, Air Ambulance services extend over 700,000 square kms, and nationally the airport provides a central point for patient transfer and refuelling services.
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