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N.W.T. medevac contractors celebrate grand opening of air ambulance base

The two companies awarded an eight-year medevac contract by the N.W.T. government are celebrating a grand opening today, as Air Tindi and Advanced Medical Solutions officially open their air ambulance base in Yellowknife.

Advanced Medical Solutions and Air Tindi were awarded $17.5M annual contract in January

ACCESS Air Ambulance's new Yellowknife base is a blended facility, meaning that medical equipment and personnel will be present in the hangar. (Hugh J. Gilmour)

The two companies awarded an eight-year medevac contract by the Northwest Territories government are celebrating a grand opening today, as Air Tindi and Advanced Medical Solutions officially open their air ambulance base in Yellowknife.

Air Tindi and Advanced Medical, which were awarded a $17.5 million annual contract for medevac services in the territory in January, have partnered under the name ACCESS Air Ambulance — ACCESS stands for Aeromedical Critical Care Emergency Services Specialists — to open the base. 

Previously, Air Tindi, which provides aircraft and flight personnel, and Advanced Medical, which provides on-board medics, were separately contracted by the territorial government to provide medevac services.

The new base has been operating since April, but the two companies waited until October for their grand opening in order to complete facility renovations and bring in new aircraft, according to Advanced Medical Solutions president Sean Ivens.

Ivens says the new base is a "blended facility," meaning that medical equipment is present in the hangar. The new partnership also allows for more highly-trained personnel, more equipment, and new aircraft for the territory's medevac services, according to Ivens.

"The whole facility, basically, is dedicated to the air ambulance program," he said.

ACCESS also operates an air ambulance base in Inuvik. Ivens says the Inuvik base is operational, but a grand opening will be held in the future, following renovations similar to the Yellowknife facility.

The grand opening of the Yellowknife base is scheduled for 3 p.m. local time.

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