Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance have announced today (Thursday) that they are extending their life-saving service to become operational 24 hours a day, working through the day and night.
A Lincs & Notts spokesman said: “We are extremely proud and excited to share this fantastic news for 2018.
“Last year was a fantastic year for our charity. We not only took delivery of our new, state-of-the-art AgustaWestland 169 helicopter, but we also began to carry blood on board for the first time. These advancements have proven to be of great benefit to the pre-hospital critical care that our clinical crew already provides every day of the year.
“As a further reflection of our commitment to providing a first-class Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) in Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire, our Board of Trustees recently approved the decision to extend our helicopter’s operational hours.”
Chief executive, Karen Jobling, said: “Emergencies don’t stop at 7pm and nor will we. Thanks to our fantastic supporters, we are now in a position to fund the extension of our service and provide advanced clinical care to the people of Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“This extended service won’t happen overnight, but the wheels are already in motion towards the provision of a 24/7 helicopter emergency service for the communities we serve by the end of the year.”
As well as the state-of-the-art helicopter, the charity also has a Rapid Response Vehicle (RRV) which can quickly transport a Critical Care Paramedic and Pre-Hospital Care Doctor to a patient. This vehicle carries the same life-saving equipment as our helicopter, meaning that an advanced level of clinical care and equipment can be delivered to patients that goes above and beyond that of a land ambulance.
The RRV will continue to be used when our helicopter is grounded due to bad weather or unplanned maintenance.
Doctor Susan Dashey, joint Clinical Lead at the charity, added: “I am delighted that we are gearing up to extend our pre-hospital emergency medical service.
“Trauma, serious illness, and cardiac arrests can happen anytime, day or night and, working with our partner East Midlands Ambulance Service, we have identified the need for an extended critical care capability in our area.
“It’s tremendous news that the charity can continue to build upon its strong foundations of excellent clinical care in this way.”
Increasing the hours that the Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance fly is something that requires not only careful planning, but also significant investment.
From a practical standpoint, the charity needs additional crew, increased training, more aviation fuel and more medical supplies. Vitally, they also need to raise even more funds, as the cost to provide a 24-hour service will increase from £2.5m per year to around £4m.
• If you wish to make a donation, visit their website at www.ambucopter.org.uk/donate