The story appears on

Page A4

October 12, 2012

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Metro » Health and Science

Aviation rescue forces face personnel shortage

CITY'S air rescue and first-aid emergency forces face a shortage of professional personnel even as the potential for the service grows sky high.

With its four helicopters, the local government aviation service, including the police aviation force, has conducted only eight rescue missions since it was founded in 2009.

They are generally summoned after road accidents and for emergency medical treatment. In an incident in May a patient suffering severe burns was airlifted from neighboring Zhoushan islands in Zhejiang Province to Shanghai in 44 minutes.

"As for future prospects, we shall strengthen cooperation with the local health department," said Peng Youming, a captain with the Shanghai Police Aviation Force, the only government aviation service in the city.

East China Sea Air Rescue Service is also based in Shanghai but it targets larger sea areas in south China.

Peng said the local health bureau had provided doctors for the aviation base but still the force "needs more professional personnel".

One doctor is stationed at the base in Hongqiao 24 hours a day, according to emergency response authorities.

More than 50 staff, including pilots and operators onboard, are on hand to conduct airborne missions.

More helicopters will be bought over the next few years amid moves to build rescue task forces. The plan is to have 15 helicopters and four bases in service by 2020.

With the gradual opening of the low-altitude airspace and the development of common aviation industry, the government is expecting to see more private sector participation in the rescue and health care services.

"We are part of the public service, which is the basic force," said Peng. "I'd like to see more commercial operators in the future, who can charge for helicopters and emergency medical services."

The captain added that in developed countries the air rescue forces comprise of multiple sections from the government to the private sector.

Peng's views were echoed by Zhu Qinzhong, director of the Shanghai Emergency Medical Center.

"The healthcare resources in Shanghai are the best in the country and the huge potential lies in the fact that there are many people, especially the rich, who have special health-related needs," said Zhu.

There are only two hospitals in Shanghai now where choppers can land.

Ideally, the city can set up some transit stations from which patients who are brought by the helicopters can be transferred by emergency vehicles to nearby hospitals, according to Zhu.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend