New helicopter for air ambulance

Published on: 02 Oct 2017

GREAT Western Air Ambulance Charity has received a new version of its helicopter, which will allow its team to deliver an enhanced service to the people of South Gloucestershire and the surrounding area.

The new aircraft can hold more fuel and heavier loads, which will allow for an additional 45 minutes’ flying time and enable the crew to carry additional equipment if needed. It is a more modern version of the helicopter that the charity used to lease, with minor upgrades to the controls and comfier seats for the crew.

Five new members have joined the GWAAC team, including CEO Anna Perry, critical care paramedics Dee Gordon, Jack Kilminster and Mark Kinsella, and Andrew Holstock, who is a full-time Pre Hospital Emergency Medicine (PHEM) Doctor.

Speaking of the charity’s new helicopter, Anna Perry said: “The distance that the crew travel for jobs has been steadily increasing since we started operating in 2008, and in June we had our longest ever flying time when we attended a job in Pembrokeshire, which involved a total of 4.5 hours in the air. In order to do this, we had to refuel twice as we then took the patient to hospital in Birmingham. 

“We are delighted to have received our new helicopter, as it means that we can now deliver our life saving emergency care to people across a much wider area, helping a larger community than ever before.”

John Wood, specialist critical care paramedic,  added: “Our new crew members are joining a team that deliver the highest level of emergency assistance to the people of our region, and I am very pleased to welcome them on board.”

The charity needs to raise £2.6 million each year to stay operational, but receives no day to day funding from the Government or National Lottery.

 To find out more about GWAAC and the work it does, visit the charity's website www.gwaac.com.

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