Era Helicopters LLC and Priority 1 Air Rescue Establish Joint Commercial Search and Rescue (SAR) Training Center

Era Helicopters and Priority 1 Air Rescue (P1AR) announced today they have launched a joint Helicopter Search and Rescue (SAR) Training School – the first ever established in North America solely dedicated to train commercial, law enforcement and foreign military aviation professionals and their aircrews in performing Helicopter SAR and HEMS (Helicopter Emergency Service).

The Era-P1AR SAR Training Center now offers an extensive array of standardized advanced Helicopter SAR training courses, which safely and effectively trains and integrates Pilots and SAR crew members into a highly cohesive and operational SAR team capable of accomplishing inland or offshore rescues.

The Era-P1AR SAR Training Center key curriculum courses include:

  • Class D Human External Cargo Initial Hoist Rescue
  • Night Vision Goggle Hoist Rescue
  • Offshore Vessel/Ocean Hoist Rescue
  • Special Operations & Tactical Training
  • Advanced Rescue Swimmer School
  • Ground Technical Rescue
  • Mountain/Cliff Hoist Rescue
  • Helicopter Underwater Egress & Aviation Survival
  • Swift-Water Rescue
  • EMT/Air Medical Program
  • Shorthaul Rescue

P1AR’s full-time SAR Instructors have extensive SAR experience in hoist rescue, offshore rescue swimmer operations, maritime vessel hoisting and mountain cliff rescue.

Neill Osborne, President of Era Helicopters, stated, “Era and Priority 1 Air Rescue recently teamed together to jointly launch offshore Search and Rescue (SAR) and EMS operations in the Gulf of Mexico. Both companies complement each other. P1AR brings a wealth of hoisting and SAR experience and an excellent cadre of SAR instructors., Combined with Era’s well-trained flight crews, flight simulators and latest technology SAR-equipped AW-139s, we are confident that the Era-P1AR SAR Training School will become the premier commercial SAR training source.”

Era Training Center holds a CFR part 142 Certificate designating it as a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Approved Training Center. The Center trains a diverse array of pilots from corporate aircraft providers, helicopter emergency medical flight services, airborne law-enforcement personnel, offshore operators, government entities and other rotorcraft professionals.

Another unique aspect of Era-P1AR SAR Training School is its Rescue Swimmer Training Course. No other commercial school teaches the methods and capabilities practiced by US Coast Guard & US Navy Rescue Swimmer SAR programs. Era-P1AR SAR Training School offers a two-week intensive standardization course for prior qualified rescue swimmers, and a six-week course is offered for those individuals going through the initial Rescue Swimmer course to perform advanced ocean SAR. Both courses are physically demanding and are designed to provide students with the necessary core swimmer skills to accomplish multiple open water rescues, free-fall/helocasting, direct deployments to offshore rigs, open water insertion, open ocean free swim, escapes and releases, patient packaging and maritime vessel rescues.

“The establishment of this joint SAR Training School symbolizes a significant step forward in standardizing Search and Rescue operations on a global level by offering customers customized and comprehensive helicopter SAR and Emergency Medical Services training to specifically meet their mission requirements,” said Brad Matheson, President of Priority 1 Air Rescue. “We are excited to jointly put forth this SAR Training School with Era Helicopters.”

For additional information, contact Paul White, Era Training Center at +1 (337) 656-4200 or by email at pwhite@eratrainingcenter.comor Mark “Roscoe” Torres at Priority 1 Air Rescue at +1 (480) 621-6023 or email at

About Era Helicopters LLC

Operating over 170 helicopters globally, Era Helicopters LLC, based in Lake Charles, LA, remains at the forefront of the oil and gas support industry with its technologically advanced helicopter fleet. Era’s primary business is to transport personnel to the shallow and deepwater oil and gas fields in the Gulf of Mexico and to support energy operations in Alaska. Era also provides flightseeing tours in Alaska, Search and Rescue/Emergency Medical Services (SAR/EMS) operations, supports fire fighting operations, offers environmental air support, and leases helicopters to third parties around the world. More information can be found at

About Priority 1 Air Rescue

Priority 1 Air Rescue, commonly referred to as the “One Stop SAR Shop” is solely focused on helicopter SAR and is a proven industry-leader providing FAA approved helicopter rescue training, helicopter Search and Rescue (SAR) products, and total SAR program support services. Its Class D Human External Cargo (HEC) Hoist Rescue Training has been provided to more than 1000 SAR Pilots, rescue technicians and SAR aircrew worldwide in all environments from the South America jungles to the Middle Eastern deserts, atop the Canadian mountains, over the Pacific Ocean and to the extreme frigid Alaskan Interior. Priority 1 Air Rescue has extensive experience on all types of Agusta, Eurocopter, Sikorsky, MDHI, and Bell Helicopters providing mission training on all facets of Emergency Response and Tactical Special Operations. More information can be found at