SME universe | A first twin-engine jet for Airmedic

Landings will be shorter, but will be further away: Airmedic, specialized in air medical transport, has just taken an important step with the acquisition of its first twin-jet, a Swiss-built Pilatus PC-24.

It is in addition to a fleet of six Pilatus PC-12 single-engine propellers and two helicopters.

“This is the accomplishment of an objective that we have been discussing in committee for a few years”, indicates Sophie Larochelle, CEO.

“This is an important milestone in the evolution of Airmedic, because the integration of a jet into the fleet allows us to develop new opportunities and expand our radius of intervention. ”

With a range of around 3,500 km and a speed of over 800 km / h, the Pilatus PC-24 jet is 300 km / h faster than its turboprop little brother.

“Now, we are able to go further, faster,” summarizes the CEO.

The aircraft has a cargo door, a rare feature that makes it easier to fit out for medical evacuation.

One of its main advantages, however, remains its ability to take off and land short, on asphalt or unpaved runways – grass, gravel, snow, etc.

The aircraft thus has access to almost all Quebec and international airports, large and small, which opens up new markets.

From now on, Airmedic will be able to directly serve mining operations in the Far North, rather than bringing in smaller devices or vehicles to make the transit. “We save a lot of time and transhipment of patients,” emphasizes Sophie Larochelle.

Fortunately, the manufacturer had certified his device for extreme cold by testing it in northern Quebec.

The autonomy and speed of the device allow the carrier to expand its scope of activity on the east coast of the United States, where it will be able to intervene to repatriate Canadians in need of care. “With all the snowbirds, it’s a big market. And the PC-24 is perfect for transporting to Florida. ”

An impressive newborn

Bought second-hand, but almost new, the aircraft had approximately 180 flight hours. “He still smelled like new leather,” laughs Sophie Larochelle.

The company took possession of it at the end of July at Saint-Hubert airport.

“When it first arrived in our sheds, it was as if we were welcoming a newborn baby! ”

A newborn of a particular type: “I tried it! It’s impressive, the power at takeoff! ”

Airmedic paid him 10.5 million US dollars – about twice as much as a PC-12 – to which must be added some $ 500,000 for the medical fittings.

The company must also pay its pilots for a three-week flight simulator training in Texas.

Already operational for transport, the device should receive its medical configuration this fall to begin its missions next January.

“I hope this is the start of a long series,” says the CEO. We are in the process of testing the market, but often, when you have one device, it doesn’t take long for a second. In my opinion, we will have a second PC-24 in the near future. ”

With 175 employees, Airmedic maintains bases in Saint-Hubert, Sept-Îles and Saint-Honoré, in Saguenay, whose hangar has just been enlarged to accommodate planes.

In March 2020, the company opened a first base in Indigenous territory at La Romaine, on the North Shore, with a hangar and a crew house. “It created a great bond of trust with the Innu community,” says Sophie Larochelle.

Two new bases will be inaugurated shortly in Quebec and Blanc-Sablon.

Garde-Malade takes care of the nurses

In the past, we used to say “nurse”, as we used to say “gatekeeper” or “gamekeeper”, even if it was more a question of treating patients than of supervising them. Steve De Petrillo and Marie-Claude Parent took up the tasty expression in 2020 when they founded their clothing company for nurses and other health professionals. The idea of ​​creating uniforms to match their dedication sprouted after a series of hospital visits for chemotherapy treatments in 2015. Sold online, their colorful clothing for men and women, in soft, stretchy fabrics, is entirely designed and manufactured in Quebec. On October 8, the Mirabel company presented a brand new collection of uniforms, specially created to support nurses at CHU Sainte-Justine, in collaboration with its foundation. The collection uses the emblematic color of the children’s hospital, a vibrant fuchsia. Garde-Malade will donate $ 10 per item sold to the CHU Sainte-Justine Foundation, committing to donate a minimum of $ 20,000.

Saguenay, capital of special effects

After Montreal, Toronto and Bogotá: Saguenay. The regional metropolis will host Folks’ fourth special effects studio. Founded in 2012 by Sébastien Bergeron and Philippe Thibault, the company specializing in the creation of high-end visual effects for film, television and streaming employs around 300 people. Why the proud city of Saguenay? “I am from Alma, I studied ATM [art et technologie des médias] in Jonquière, ”said Sébastien Bergeron in a press release. “Our recruitment strategy aims to repatriate visual effects artists to the region and thus [à] create new quality jobs in a sector that does not currently exist, which will enrich the region’s technological sector, ”he added. Folks wishes to take advantage of the strong growth experienced by the sector, in particular due to the multiplication of productions by the major online distribution platforms. The special effects firm wants to create 60 to 70 specialized jobs in Saguenay.

Cloumatic arrives at Ficodis

Small consolidation in the fasteners sector: the Ficodis Group announced the acquisition of Cloumatic, a Saint-Jérôme company that specializes in the sale of tools and fasteners (nails, screws, staples). The company of 24 employees, founded in 1993 by Jacques Garon and Lucie Rondeau, had developed its own brand of tools, Lion, which will be added to the catalog of tools, equipment and safety articles of Ficodis. Chaired by Christophe Bévillard, the industrial distribution group, headquartered in Montreal, has 19 points of sale in Quebec, Ontario and New York State. Son of the founders and president of the company, Jean-Philippe Garon indicated that this transaction would allow Cloumatic to “widen its playing field” by opening the door to a larger market. In short, to achieve a breakthrough.

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This is the age of the venerable Promedia radio and elocution school. It was founded in October 1981 when sports journalist Pierre Dufault and businessman Pierre Boislard bought The Dave Boxer School of Broadcasting. More than 3,200 students have attended the school since.

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