HAI’s Salute To Excellence awards recognized several EMS professionals this year. Presentations were made at the organization’s annual dinner here last night at Heli-Expo.
AgustaWestland has awarded its annual Cormorant Trophy for Helicopter Rescue to a Canadian Forces SAR team from Squadron 103 for their October 27, 2011 rescue of two walrus hunters who were stranded on an Arctic Sea ice flow near Nunavut. The trophy recognizes the “Canadian civilian, government or military crew that has performed the most demanding helicopter rescue of the year.” The mission required 18 hours of flying and multiple fuel stops in an AW101.
Helicopter crews and mechanics serving with the U.S. Coast Guard have been awarded four of the HAI’s eight “Salute To Excellence” awards to be presented this year tonight at Heli-Expo, including Humanitarian Service, Helicopter Maintenance, Pilot of the Year, and Law Enforcement.
At 10 p.m. on April 20, seven minutes after the Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling rig exploded, the search-and-rescue alarm went off at the U.S. Coast Guard Air Training Center in Mobile, Ala. Pilot Lt. Andy Greenwood and his crew headed for their HC-144 Ocean Sentry, a CASA CN-235 twin turboprop, for the 115-mile flight. “We were at 4,000 feet when we hit the Gulf, and we could already see the fire,” Greenwood said.
A Coast Guard helicopter crew that performed a challenging rescue of an injured fisherman in the Bering Sea will be honored tonight with HAI’s Eurocopter Golden Hour Award. The award was created in 1982 to recognize the efforts of air medical service helicopter pilots who, through a particular rescue or through contributions over time to the air medical industry, advance the use of helicopters in this mission.
The Sikorsky Humanitarian Service Award is presented annually to the person or crew that best demonstrates the value of rotorcraft to society by saving lives, protecting property and aiding those in distress, either through a specific mission or over a period of time. The 2010 recipient of the award is the crew of U.S. Coast Guard CGNR 6033, based at Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, Fla.
Amid numerous press accounts of helicopter heroism during the war in Iraq comes this story of the sort of everyday utility humanitarianism that should walk hand-in-hand with power. Last March 15, the U.S. Navy frigate USS Crommelin was assigned to locate a fishing vessel reported to have a badly injured crewman off the Pacific coast of Costa Rica.