A brand-new Bell 412 EPI helicopter will be deployed to support the BC Ambulance Service (BCAS) in central British Columbia by Summit Helicopters this fall. Photo submitted.

New helicopter to assist ambulance services in central Interior B.C.

This new Bell 412 EPI helicopter is being supplied by Summit Helicopters

  • Sep. 2, 2019 9:30 a.m.

Summit Helicopters announced Thursday, Aug. 29 that it has deployed a brand-new Bell 412 EPI helicopter to support the BC Ambulance Service (BCAS) in central British Columbia.

“The Bell 412 EPI helicopter in Kamloops is brand-new and state-of-the-art rotary aircraft. We are extremely pleased to support the BC Ambulance Service in central BC,” Lane Zirnhelt, the chief operating officer of Summit Aviation Group, the owner of Summit Helicopters, said.

Summit Helicopters has been operating a dedicated helicopter on contract with British Columbia Emergency Health Services (BCEHS), who operates the BC Ambulance Service, for seven years. Since 2012, Summit Helicopters has responded to more than 2,000 medical emergencies. Recently, Summit Helicopters was awarded the latest BCEHS contract for central BC, which includes the deployment of one Bell 412 EPI.

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“This new helicopter is supporting patients across the Interior for both critical hospital transfers and emergency 9-1-1 responses, Paul Vallely, BCEHS’s senior provincial director of Patient Care, said. “Our critical care paramedic crews working on the Bell 412 helicopter out of Kamloops are an essential part of the more than 7,000 air ambulance missions BCEHS responds to each year.”

Since the new dedicated air ambulance Bell 412EPI helicopter launched in late May, BCEHS air ambulance crews in Kamloops have responded to 45 critically ill or injured patients.

“This aircraft features the latest in safety enhancements, an integrated avionics suite with a glass cockpit and electronically-controlled engines,” Steven Williams, Chief IFR Pilot for Summit Helicopters, said. “The EPI offers vastly increased performance and safety margins required for the challenging role and terrain in which we fly.”

As a dedicated BCAS air ambulance, Summit Helicopters’ Bell 412 EPI has two emergency patient stretchers and flies with two critical care paramedics, along with a two-pilot crew. Summit Helicopters is currently completing regulatory approval of its Aviation Night Vision Imaging System (ANVIS) and it is anticipated this equipment will be online by Fall 2019.

“With our new aircraft and advanced navigation systems, BCEHS will deliver a greater level of care than ever before,” Williams said, “This new aircraft is ideally suited for the regions of BC in which we operate.”

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Summit Helicopters’ Bell 412 EPI was built in Canada and features enhanced performance technology, state-of-the-art engines and mission versatility. Summit Helicopters’ Bell 412 EPI has advanced Garmin navigation systems and reliable Pratt and Whitney Canada engines.

Summit Helicopter is the first commercial deployment nationally while the Canadian Coast Guard was first to use the aircraft in Canada.


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