Aero Medical Exchange Facility
From the initial stage of planning, incorporation of this facility into the clubhouse was of paramount importance. Having been witness to patients being transferred between ground and air ambulance on the airport tarmac, day and night, sometimes in foul weather, club members were determined to help improve this process.
The result is a facility of which club members can be truly proud, and which reflects very favourably on the airport owners, Orange City Council, and the Orange Community generally.
The facility comprises a fully self-contained area where patient transfers can take place, and crews of both road and air ambulance can conduct the transfer and wait if necessary, in air-conditioned comfort, with toilet and basic kitchen facilities. During extended delays, sometimes unavoidable, crews can wait in comfort, watch TV, even take a nap in a luxurious reclining chair, donated by one of our members. The centre also has a wheelchair for use by patients not requiring stretcher transport.
Even while the MHAC was being used as a temporary terminal, the interchange facility has been in full use, by the Ambulance Service of NSW, the Royal Flying Doctor Service, and Wingaway - a company which provides transfers for non- critical patients. Road ambulances have undercover land-side access to the facility, and a separate airside access is provided, with parking available on the tarmac at the front of the building
The photo above shows the undercover landside access, while the one at left shows how transfers used to be made. Not too bad on that day, apart from the risks associated with road vehicles operating on the tarmac, but the weather in Orange isn't always as cooperative!