Swedish Air Ambulance Association (Svenskt Ambulansflyg) opened a new emergency base on 21 February at Arlanda Airport, north of Stockholm.
The base will have two PC-24 fixed-wing aircraft on standby in the daytime and one on standby at night to provide all-round coverage across central Sweden. The base will also serve as a potential backup for Swedish Air Ambulance operations in the north and south.
The base is in a shared hangar, and includes space for two air ambulance aircraft, light maintenance facilities, medical equipment storage facilities and a selection of medical supplies.
An adjacent building next door features changing rooms, break rooms, kitchens, meeting rooms and office space for technicians, pilots, nurses and clerks, with accommodation provided nearby.
Nurses will be provided by the regional government of Uppsala, with 18 nurses stationed at the base. All nurses have undergone training in aeromedical medicine, as well as practical training with a final internship at the emergency base in Umeå. The region will also provide healthcare provision for injured people rescued during missions.
In a statement, the service said: “With the opening of Arlanda, Svenskt Ambulansflyg is ready for assignments from all of Sweden's regions.”
Anders Sylvan, Federal Director of Swedish Air Ambulance said: “A milestone has been reached that during the day we can have five planes in the air at the same time.”
Ola Karlsson, Chairman of the Board for Swedish Air Ambulance, added: “I am proud of what Sweden's regions have managed to implement with joint forces. Opening Arlanda is the final step to a full-scale operational operation. Now we can continue the development of an efficient air ambulance and a boost for Swedish healthcare,”
The service previously opened another base in Gothenburg earlier this month
The service also opened another emergency base at Gothenburg Landvetter Airport on 1 February.
The base will offer 24/7 coverage and will provide air ambulance coverage to southern Sweden. Like Arlanda, the base will be home to two PC-24 aircraft. The base also features basic maintenance facilities, a medical storage room, office space and rest areas for staff.
Nurses and healthcare provision for patients at the Landvetter base will be provided by the regional government of Västra Götaland, from among the staff of Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg. As in Arlanda, the nurses have undergone theoretical and practical training in aeromedical medicine.
Svenskt Ambulansflyg is owned and financed by the governments of all 21 of Sweden's regions. It now has three bases: at Arlanda, Landvetter and Umeå. Umeå is also the home of the service’s Flight Coordination Centre.
The young organization purchased a fleet of six PC-24s from manufacturer Pilatus in August 2019, for delivery in 2021, ahead of the launch of operations. Each aircraft has space for up to three patients plus medical staff, and is equipped with intravenous fluids, an incubator, and extracorporeal membrane oxygen equipment. The aircraft also has a large cargo door for the loading and unloading of patients and can also be rearranged for organ transport.