Era Helicopters and Priority 1 Air Rescue Announce Search & Rescue Service to be based in Fourchon, LA

Era Helicopters LLC (Era) announced today the launch of a Search and Rescue and Emergency Medical Services (SAR/EMS) operation from its base located in Fourchon, Louisiana. ANADARKO will be Launch Customer July 2010

Together, Era and Priority 1 Air Rescue (P1AR) will offer FAA-approved, full-service SAR/EMS capability and turnkey solutions to offshore Oil & Gas companies located in the Gulf of Mexico for a 24-hour SAR and advanced life support paramedic resource. “Anadarko will be our launch customer highlighting the importance of SAR/EMS capability in the Gulf of Mexico, and the foresight of Anadarko to participate in this undertaking. We believe our efforts will support our customers and improve the safety of the industries we support. Era Helicopters and P1AR will offer the highest level of expertise of any SAR provider in the Gulf of Mexico,” said Era President Neill Osborne. Additional offshore industry companies can participate in this program through a subscription service offered by Era Helicopters.

The P1AR crews, including hoist system operators, rescue swimmers, and flight paramedics, will supplement Era’s state-of-the-art SAR equipped AW139 helicopter dedicated to the new program. The AW139 has flight performance capabilities to execute deepwater maritime SAR/EMS operations at distances up to 200 nautical miles offshore. Era will initiate SAR service with a hoist equipped, four axis autopilot AW139 aircraft, which will be the first AW139 to be operated for SAR/EMS role in North America. The AW139 aircraft is equipped to exceed the latest safety standards with options to include GE Health and Usage Monitoring System (HUMS) and a Lifeport medical interior. Adding to the aircraft’s basic SAR capabilities will be enhancements such as the Goodrich dual hoist system, night vision (NVG) interior, a 40 million candle power SX-16 white light/infrared Nightsun, and an integrated auto hover with search pattern modes.

Priority 1 Air Rescue crews are trained and certified with United States National Registry and Louisiana State Paramedic Licenses, to the highest level of national/international rescue and aviation standards. The Era/P1AR SAR crews are capable of providing technical rescue support for shipboard and offshore oil and gas industry including high angle rope rescue, worker entrapment and confined space rescue. These aircraft will also be available for response to hurricane relief efforts.

P1AR President Brad Matheson states, “True multi-mission emergency response capability is essential to ensure value; we feel that customers in the Gulf of Mexico require a helicopter SAR program that offers comprehensive services to entail all aspects of emergency response while offering greater cost effectiveness. We certainly feel the AW139 offers the most appropriate SAR aircraft for the Gulf of Mexico. We feel it will set a new standard for helicopter SAR/EMS services.”

Era’s Fourchon, Louisiana, base is located in an area with significant petroleum traffic from offshore Gulf oil platforms and drilling rigs as well as the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port pipeline. Fourchon's primary service markets are domestic deepwater oil and gas exploration, drilling, and production in the Gulf of Mexico. There are over 600 oil platforms within a 40-mile radius of Port Fourchon. Utilizing the AW139 helicopter, maritime SAR response can reach out more than 200 nautical miles, stay on scene for 30 minutes and return the sick, injured or rescued worker 200 nautical miles to the nearest trauma medical center.
For additional information, contact Molly Hottinger at +1-954-627-5278 or by email at

About Era Helicopters LLC

Operating more than 170 helicopters worldwide, Era Helicopters LLC, based in Lake Charles, Louisiana, 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.

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 products, and total SAR program support services. Its Class D Human External Cargo 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 Special Operations.