Priority 1 Air Rescue

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Heli-Expo 2017 PRESS RELEASE – 2 March 2017

Priority 1 Air Rescue debuts Helicopter Hoist Rescue SAR Training Simulator at Heli-Expo 2017.

Priority 1 Air Rescue (P1AR) will be demonstrating an operational model of their Virtual Hoist SAR simulator at booth #2417 during the 2017 Helicopter Association International Heli Expo in Dallas March 7th through the 9th.  P1AR created this smaller transportable version of their Virtual Hoist Simulator specifically for Heli-Expo 2017 to present its advanced mission training capabilities and provide a compact replica of the synthetic devices that are currently employed at Search and Rescue Tactical Training Academies (SART/TAC) located in Mesa, Arizona and Nimes-Garons, France.

“A number of our customers tell us that we should be doing more to inform the SAR community and promote how we integrate our standardized hoist mission training programs and optimise safety by employing our virtual hoist simulators, so we listened”, stated Brad Matheson President of Priority 1 Air Rescue. “As we have operational SAR crews out there performing actual rescue missions, we genuinely understand the array of challenges end users face, and consequently, how to create the most effective, safe, and high cost saving solution. We are not a simulator company selling simulators, we are an integrated training and operations provider offering a complete spectrum of mission performance solutions for end users”.   

Attendees will be available to view ‘live’ hoist and SAR mission demonstrations conducted by P1AR instructors showing the realistic hoist cable physics using multiple aircraft types, including the Bell 412/429, AW139/169/189, UH60, NH90, H135/ H225, and CH47s, operating in multiple working environments and weather conditions, day and night, unaided and with Night Vision Goggles (NVGs).

For more information about scheduling a hands on hoist simulation demonstration with the VHS at our booth at HAI 2017 or additional information about our SAR/Tactical Mission Training and Operations please contact:

For more information: Contact us at

Virtual Hoist Simulator

PRESS RELEASE – HAI Heli-Expo 2017

Era Search and Rescue Receives HAI’s Salute to Excellence Airbus Helicopters Golden Hour Award.
Alexandria, Va. (January 11, 2017) – Helicopter Association International (HAI) announced today that Era Search and Rescue, a service line of Era Group Inc., is the 2017 winner of HAI’s Salute to Excellence Airbus Helicopters Golden Hour Award. The award will be presented at HAI’s Salute to Excellence Awards dinner at HAI HELI-EXPO 2017 in Dallas.
Era pioneered the first U.S. commercial search-and-rescue (SAR) program, in partnership with Priority 1 Air Rescue (P1AR). Era’s SAR program has responded to more than 1,050 emergency calls from more than 70 companies in the Gulf of Mexico. Operating three SAR-equipped AW139 medium helicopters from Houma, La., and Galveston, Texas, Era was the first emergency flight services provider to configure the AW139 for full SAR mission capabilities. As the only search and rescue provider that is medically licensed in Texas and Louisiana, Era’s SAR program provides 24-hour offshore advanced life support medical care on the U.S. Gulf of Mexico Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).
The SAR program is supported by four Era dispatchers certified as Emergency Medical Dispatchers; 18 pilots qualified in instrument flight rules, night-vision goggles, air ambulance, and hoist rescues; and 36 P1AR medically qualified rescue specialists — making it the most comprehensive program serving the OCS. Era’s SAR program can support local, state and federal crisis emergency response efforts for various emergency situations.
Era SAR is considered one of the world’s premier search and rescue operations, able to conduct emergency response in extreme environments. Era participated in the Coast Guard’s Arctic Technology Evaluation 2015 Search and Rescue Exercise on Alaska’s North Slope to identify the benefits to search and rescue missions of the integration of manned and unmanned aerial systems. This exercise showed the capabilities and expertise of participants in support of arctic SAR efforts and other such missions. Era AW139 SAR pilots worked with P1AR crews to establish interoperability among marine and aviation assets during recovery at the rescue scene.
The award will be presented at the annual Salute to Excellence Awards dinner during HAI HELI-EXPO 2017. HAI HELI-EXPO®, the world’s largest helicopter trade show and exhibition, will be held at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas, March 6–9, with the exhibit hall open March 7–9. For more information on HAI HELI-EXPO 2017, visit

Priority 1 Air Rescue Press Release – January 2016
Heli-Union and Priority 1 Air Rescue partner to provide emergency SAR service.
Heli-Union, a worldwide leader in rotary aircraft services, has launched the first commercially based offshore helicopter search-and-rescue (SAR) program in France.
This newly formed helicopter SAR program is currently focused for emergency response and support dedicated for the offshore oil and gas industry and will commence service in November 2016, based out of its Yangon, Myanmar facility.
Heli-Union will be utilizing its newly acquired AgustaWestland AW139 helicopters equipped with a 600 pound capable external rescue hoist to perform these emergency services.
This highly specialized mission capability is being offered and provided in partnership with Priority 1 Air Rescue (P1AR). Heli-Union selected P1AR for initial to advanced mission training; full program implementation and CAA Human Hoist Operations (HHO) certification support, SAR Ops manuals, and also includes operational aircrew rescue swimmer staffing.
“Thanks to our partner P1AR, we were able to develop a new and robust SAR operations capability, which is now proposed to our customers in addition to medevac/crew change operation. P1AR experience and high standards were key factor of success to achieve this objective,” said Jean-Baptiste OLRY, Heli-Union head of operations.
Heli-Union’s mission training commenced at Priority 1 Air Rescue Search and Rescue Tactical Training Academy (SART/TAC) located in Nîmes France, where the student participants attended ground school, hoist tower training, and virtual search-and-rescue flight simulation. P1AR instructors then travelled from SART/TAC to La Rochelle, France to complete the onsite inland, ocean, and advanced maritime vessel pilot live flight training.
“It’s a privilege to partner with Heli-Union,” said Brad Matheson, “like our very successful partnership with Era Helicopters, this opportunity is laying further foundation for our long term growth throughout the SAR sector via commercial partnerships with leaders in the rotorcraft industry.
“P1AR has experience hoisting on the AB/AW139s since 2007, and has trained 12 separate customers in advanced hoist mission SAR on the AW139 alone, this contract with Heli-Union to implement a turn-key SAR training and operation solution further demonstrates our company’s strengths, and the importance in having relevant and proven mission experience and full CAA SAR program implantation capability.”
Photo courtesy Priority 1 Air Rescue