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Prince George to get air ambulance upgrade

A fleet of seven new helicopter ambulances is expected to be operational by late 2024 or early 2025.
A BCEHS air ambulance is seen in an undated BCEHS file photo.

The B.C. Emergency Health Service (BCEHS) has awarded a 10-year, $544.4 million contract to Parksville, B.C.-based Ascent Helicopters to operate air ambulance service across the province.

The new helicopter fleet is expected to be operational by the late fall of 2024 to the early spring of 2025, a BCEHS spokesperson said in an email. BCEHS will continue to operate one helicopter in Prince George, Prince Rupert, Kamloops and Nanaimo, and two in Vancouver – with a seventh helicopter available to fill operational needs or maintenance as required.

“BC Emergency Health Services (BCEHS) is in the process of modernizing our rotary-wing ambulance fleet, which will allow us to improve the quality of service we provide for British Columbians for years to come,” a BCEHS spokesperson said in an email. “We look forward to sharing more details as the fleet comes into service, such as more sophisticated technology and improved safety standards.”

No other details were provided.

Kamloops-based Summit Helicopters Ltd. was awarded a $9-million contract to provide air ambulance service in Prince George for 28 months in 2020. That service started in December 2020.

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