Kamloops air ambulance helicopter now equipped with night vision tech | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kamloops air ambulance helicopter now equipped with night vision tech

Four B.C. Emergency Health Services air ambulance helicopters have now been outfitted with night vision technology, including the one based in Kamloops.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / Summit Helicopters
December 12, 2019 - 1:16 PM

The helicopter air ambulance serving the Kamloops area just got a high-tech upgrade.

B.C. Emergency Health Services started adding night vision to its air ambulance fleet in 2017 and now a total of four helicopters have the technology. The other night-vision equipped helicopters operate in Vancouver and Prince Rupert.

The Kamloops air ambulance chopper operates over a 300-kilometre radius, 12 hours a day each day of the year, and the night vision technology will help with flying in the dark, according to a Health Services media release.

Paramedics respond to around 25 medical emergencies a month using the Kamloops-based air ambulance helicopter and that number is expected to increase, Heath Services says.

The pilot uses night vision goggles attached to his or her helmet. These goggles are able to pick up on the tiniest amounts of light in an area, including infrared light, and amplify it to help the pilot see more clearly. The light is essentially captured, amplified and then turned into a video image that is displayed on the screen of the goggles.

This new technology will allow pilots a clearer view during darker times of the day, but won’t be able to show an image through clouds. Like regular day time vision, rain and snow will still reduce visibility.

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