A Helicopter of Hope: Bell Aircraft Helping Rocket EMS Save Lives in South Africa

Kids Flight helipad.jpg

Having a fully equipped aircraft couldn’t be more critical than when it comes to Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) missions. In many emergency scenarios, especially in remote locations, helicopters often remain the sole method of quickly transporting patients to hospitals. For Henley Air, the Bell 230 and Bell 222 are consistently relied on to provide vital care to people throughout the country. Now, their mission has expanded, thanks to the capabilities of their Bell fleet.

Henley Air has a dedicated division for HEMS operations known as Rocket EMS, serving as a non-profit that provides medical transportation in the region. In late June, Rocket EMS unveiled their vision for Kids Flight – an initiative designed to enable medical transportation for the children. While not an exclusive pediatric service, Henley Air wants to leverage existing resources to pave the way for accessible EMS operations that support children and patients in the region. Kids Flight will be managed by Rocket and Henley Air with investment from local businesses.

To celebrate the beginning of this endeavor, Rocket EMS unveiled one of the Bell 230 air ambulance helicopters branded in new Kids Flight livery. The design was inspired by the ROCKET founders’ daughters canvassing their ideas - a personal family touch.

In South Africa, emergency response teams also assist in the distribution of supplies, medicine and other forms of aid to affected areas in operations that cover large areas. Henley Air, together with the Gift of the Givers Foundation, the largest disaster response, non-governmental organization on the African continent, joined forces to distribute supplies to those affected by a recent disaster.

Using Henley Air’s Bell 222 aircraft, emergency aid, including food, water and medicine, was air dropped to hundreds of affected families in the town of Keimoes, which was affected by severe flooding.

The Bell 222 and Bell 230 can be configured for HEMS or utility transport missions and accommodate 8 passengers on board. They have been reliable assets in the country to support numerous transportation missions for business and emergency needs. Now, the aircraft will be used for a new purpose with Kids Flight and save even more lives.

Bell is on its own mission to change the way the world flies – with superior vertical lift that helps save lives, while also playing a critical role in the safety operations of those affected by disasters across the globe.

Alexis Baird

Innovation and Commercial Business for Europe, Middle East and Africa
All Media Contacts

About Bell

Thinking above and beyond is what we do. For more than 85 years, we’ve been reimagining the experience of flight – and where it can take us.

We are pioneers. We were the first to break the sound barrier and to certify a commercial helicopter. We were a part of NASA’s first lunar mission and brought advanced tiltrotor systems to market. Today, we’re defining the future of advanced air mobility.

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Above all, our breakthrough innovations deliver exceptional experiences to our customers. Efficiently. Reliably. And always, with safety at the forefront.

About Textron

Textron Inc. is a multi-industry company that leverages its global network of aircraft, defense, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell, Cessna, Beechcraft, Pipistrel, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Arctic Cat, and Textron Systems. For more information, visit: www.textron.com.

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