Flying doctors to save Muscovites from emergencies

A Moscow hospital has become the first in the city to get its own helicopters at its disposal 24/7.

It takes 90 minutes to deliver a patient from the city center to the clinic by ambulance during rush hour. The new choppers will reduce the time to six minutes.

Until now, helicopters have been used only by the emergency-rescue service, but hospital staff say their need for them is far greater.

City Hall promises to open a heli-pad in every district by the end of 2016.

Different Moscow organizations have long been considering the use of helicopters instead of cars.

Back in summer 2010, Moscow police fielded a new multi-functional Ka-226 helicopter in its bid to fight rising crime. The chopper boasts a loudspeaker, a high-powered searchlight, and the most up-to-date thermal-imaging device, enabling the team to see clear even in the dark.

It also has a powerful video camera that will help the police to zoom in on car numbers and transmit live images of the crime scene directly to headquarters. Such a video could then be the main evidence in court.

There have also been several humorous outcomes involving helicopters. Earlier this month, a helicopter carrying a Russian MP landed at the Patriarch’s residence during mass, causing wide public outrage. While the pilot was fined, the VIP passenger was forgiven by the church.

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