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– Is it true? Thank goodness. Now I was procedure! It is vital that the agreement with the Armed forces for the Bell helicopter in the north of norway will be extended, ” says Britt Larsen Mehmi.

Kommuneoverlegen in Vadsø is both surprised and relieved when she learns that the Health North, has asked the Armed forces to keep the helicopter in Kirkenes until 15. July.

The so-called Bell-helicopter has been a part of the emergency preparedness since the summer of 2019, but should be taken out 15. april. This has met strong resistance from local hold.

Finnmark medical association and East-Finnmark regional council is among several who have advocated to extend the agreement.

– Now we are glorious happy. In this situation, it is reassuring that they think it is sensible to continue with the helicopter, ” says managing director in regionrådet, Trond Haukanes.

Armed Bell helicopter has been a part of the emergency preparedness and response in Eastern Finnmark since the summer of 2019. Here from a mission in Gravesend in march.

Photo: Knut-Sverre Horn – Vulnerable situation

Health-North regional health enterprises states that it is koronasituasjonen that is the reason they want to extend the agreement.

On the basis of the ongoing koronapandemien soliciting us Armed forces for the support with a Bell helicopter in Kirkenes to include ambulance transport in and from Finnmark to 15. July. Our experience means that we quickly get a response on this, write director of communications, Anne May Knudsen in an e-mail to NRK.

And the response they got Tuesday night. Secretary of defense Frank Bakke-Jensen (H) confirms to NRK that they say yes to the request from the Health North.

So the situation is now, it is important to have a contingency plan that secures the population. Therefore, we will extend the agreement. At the same time I will have a chat with the minister of health, because this preparedness goes out of other things the Defense should have done, ” says Bakke-Jensen.

Secretary of defense Frank Bakke-Jensen (H) confirms that the Armed helicopter will remain in the Churches until 15. July. – It goes out over a part of the mission to the Armed forces, but it is important to ensure emergency preparedness and response, ” he says.

Photo: Øyvind Bye Stand / NRK

Kommuneoverlegen in Chelmsford says koronakrisen makes them very vulnerable.

One of the reasons is that ambulanseflyene can’t fly koronasmittede patients, or patients where the smittestatus is still unclear.

– At this time of year has many cough, snørrete nose or sore throat. For most, this has not anything with korona to do, but we can not exclude it. Without the helicopter to the Norwegian Armed forces, we would, in practice, been without the air ambulance, ” says Mehmi.

– Good teamwork

Last week came the Health to the North with several measures to improve ambulanseberedskap and sykehustransport under koronapandemien. Then discussed the hire of aircraft and helicopter with a civilian company.

Kommuneoverlegen are very happy that they don’t have to change the operator, because the transitional experience would have given problems.

– Then we will have an unstable luftambulansetjeneste over a longer period of time. I know it is a standing rule that one should use civilian resources as far as possible, but here is the Defense well integrated in health care.

– We have good cooperation with them as we have with the Kirkenes hospital. It is just happened to be a green helicopter, ” says Britt Larsen Mehmi.

NRK has not succeeded in getting a further justification from the Health North-director Cecilie Daae on Tuesday night.

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