Modernising Polish medical air rescue bases

The project ‘Construction, modernisation and equipping Medical Air Rescue (MAR) bases' built or renovated ten bases for the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) across the country to improve the performance of MAR teams.

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Modernised bases are improving emergency air rescue services across Poland © Justina Sochacka Modernised bases are improving emergency air rescue services across Poland © Justina Sochacka

" Implementation of the project and the exchange of helicopter fleets means that our unit has become one of the most modern HEMS operators in Europe. These actions have directly improved the level of emergency medical services in Poland. "

Justyna Sochacka, SP ZOZ Lotnicze Pogotowie Ratunkowe

The project was carried out in two phases: in stage one, six HEMS bases (located in Bialystok, Lodz, Poznan, Sanok, Suwalki and Zielona Gora) as well as a Maintenance Service Station in Szczecin were constructed or renovated; and in the second stage another four bases were constructed (Gdansk, Kielce, Krakow and Wroclaw). New bases were built at airports almost in the same neighbourhood of where old bases functioned.

The renovation and modernisation consisted of new air sheds, gas stations, aircraft parking aprons, places for takeoffs and landings, and operational and social facilities as well as improved access to roads. Up-to-date infrastructure means that rescue teams can respond quicker to emergencies.

"Physicians and paramedics in the shortest possible time can complement medical equipment, and pilots can efficiently refuel the helicopter," said Justyna Sochacka, spokesperson for SP ZOZ Lotnicze Pogotowie Ratunkowe (Polish Medical Air Rescue).

Higher care standards

The project allowed operations at the newly built bases to be standardised. New lighting systems have been installed at the take-off and landing fields, allowing MAR teams to operate a round-the-clock service. Moreover, the new bases are equipped to meet modern technical and sanitary requirements and the teams now offer a safer, more environmentally friendly and secure service.

Overall, these improvements will help address imbalances in access to emergency services in Poland. An increase of survival rates of victims in accidents and emergency is also expected.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “Construction, modernisation and equipping Medical Air Rescue (MAR) airbases (stage I and II)” is EUR 17 352 257, of which the EU’s European Regional Development Fund is contributing EUR 14 469 279 from the Operational Programme “Infrastructure and Environment” for the 2007 to 2013 period.

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