New Bristow Search and Rescue Consortium Provides Unrivaled Services in Gulf of Mexico

Bristow has formed a new consortium for the Gulf of Mexico that provides unrivaled search and rescue (SAR) and medevac services for members operating in the region, with Shell Offshore, Inc. joining as its first member.

“We are drawing on our years of experience of safely operating SAR around the world to bring this new lifesaving service to clients in the region,” said Bristow Americas Regional Director Samantha Willenbacher. “Our partnership with Acadian Air Med enables us to deliver the highest standard of rescue service and medical care in the Gulf of Mexico.”

Members of the consortium receive guaranteed SAR and medevac response 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, covering the entire Gulf of Mexico.

Bristow is operating the new service from its standalone SAR facility at the South Lafourche Airport in Galliano, with a dedicated Sikorsky S-92 and a Leonardo AW139 aircraft.

“We are using sophisticated helicopters to deploy multiple types of airborne rescues, with crews that are highly skilled and trained and ready to respond to any type of emergency,” said Willenbacher. “With our rescue fleet, all parts of the Gulf of Mexico are within reach of this lifesaving service.”

The S-92 dedicated to this service is the only all-weather heavy SAR aircraft operating in the Gulf of Mexico, with the speed and extended operational range to reach ultra-deepwater rigs and installations, and the necessary capacity to respond quickly to multiple-casualty situations. The most advanced aircraft in Sikorsky’s civil product line, the aircraft is equipped with forward looking infrared (FLIR), auto hover, twin-hoist, mission management and increased on-board medical capabilities. The AW139 helicopter dedicated to this service features a 700Mhz radio for communication with multiagency responders, mission management capabilities, external rescue hoist system and critical care medical equipment.

The aircraft capability is supported by onsite contingency operations consisting of air-droppable survival kits, linked raft systems, marine vessel salvage pumps, and point of injury industrial confined space and technical rescue.

Consortium members also receive emergency dispatch service provided by nationally registered EMTs and certified with the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch. The advanced dispatch program uses ProQA Dispatch Software that provides an unmatched level of pre-arrival medical instructions over the phone to the caller until the helicopter arrives. Any critical and pertinent changes in the patient’s condition are immediately relayed in real-time to the en route helicopter. Bristow also uses a Medical Priority Dispatch System to triage a patient's acuity based off of the information provided by the caller and laid out during the emergency medical dispatching process.

With more than five decades of experience delivering SAR, Bristow provides SAR services as a core part of its helicopter services in most of the countries in which it operates. Since 1971, Bristow has flown more than 65,000 SAR operational hours and conducted more than 20,100 SAR missions, during which more than 10,700 people have been rescued by its crews and helicopters worldwide.