Air Canada announced today two
major initiatives that will further enhance the well-being, security and
peace-of-mind of its customers and crews on board its aircraft. The two
initiatives include air-to-ground medical support as well as automated
external defibrillators (AEDs).
``The introduction of these new services reflects Air Canada`s overall
and ongoing commitment to providing our customers and crews with the safest
and most secure air travel experience possible,`` said Ted D`Arcy, Vice
President, In-Flight Service at a media demonstration of the new services in
Air Canada has joined forces with MedAire, a company which specializes in
medical preparedness services and equipment for the aviation industry.
MedAire`s emergency telemedicine service, called MedLink, now allows Air
Canada`s in-flight crews to consult directly with a certified emergency
physician at any time during any flight, anywhere in the world.
In an emergency in-flight situation, Air Canada crews will be able to
quickly contact a MedLink physician who will assess the medical situation and
recommend a plan of care. The physician will decide if the situation warrants
opening and using the onboard medical kit, liaise with any medical personnel
who may be aboard the flight and determine the best course of action for the
customer. Canadian Airlines will also call on this new medical service in the
In addition, Air Canada signed an agreement with Medtronic Physio-Control
to equip all of its aircraft with automated external defibrillators beginning
in fall 2000. Training of Air Canada staff will also begin in the fall.
Training sessions will include CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation) and
instruction in air-to-ground medical assistance communication, as a complement
to the existing and ongoing safety training. At the same time, Canadian
Airlines will progressively equip its fleet with AEDs. Along with the
installation of the defibrillators, the two airlines will also complement
their onboard medical kits with cardiac monitors.
``The Heart and Stroke Foundation applauds Air Canada for adopting a high
quality in-flight medical emergency system to ensure their passengers have the
best possible chance of surviving should they suffer a cardiac event or
arrest,`` said Marc Gay, Chair, Emergency Cardiac Care Committee of the Heart
and Stroke Foundation of Canada during a simultaneous media demonstration of
the new services in Montréal. ``Safe and easy to use, AEDs can increase the
chance of surviving a cardiac arrest by 30 % or more.``
To launch these two important projects, Air Canada and Canadian Airlines
are initially investing more than $1.5 million in equipment, training and