Wiltshire’s air ambulance flies out of problemsIt’s been a bumpy start to 2019 for Wiltshire’s air ambulance. On January 2 it was grounded due to a technical fault and a day later the firm Heli Charter who have operated the charity's Bell 429 helicopter since 2014, went into voluntary liquidation.
However, Specialist Aviation Services based in Gloucestershire have come to the rescue and flying operations resume today (January 11). They have provided a back-up helicopter (G-KSSH) to be used for daytime flying, 8 am to 6 pm, seven days a week for the foreseeable future.
The charity’s two Rapid Response Vehicles will continue to be used when it is quicker to travel to an incident by road and for during the night. They carry the same medical equipment that can be found on-board the helicopter.
David Philpott is Wiltshire Air Ambulance's chief executive: “Specialist Aviation Services is a company we’ve enjoyed an excellent working relationship with for nearly 30 years and we’re very pleased that they’ve been able to move so fast to get us back in the air.”
“The MD 902 is a helicopter the charity has used in the past and, following its arrival on Friday, we will be back flying for the people of Wiltshire and surrounding areas.”
“I want to thank those well-wishers and supporters who have offered their support and redoubled their fundraising efforts for the charity since our Bell 429 was grounded last week.”
Wiltshire Air Ambulance has been working towards gaining a replacement Air Operator Certificate (AOC), the previous one being held by Heli Charter. “For some time we have been looking to secure our own AOC and those preparations are well advanced and its issuance imminent.”
Wiltshire Air Ambulance is almost entirely funded by public donations. On average the air ambulance carries out three potentially life saving missions each day. Nearly four years ago it began carrying blood, which enables Critical Care Paramedics and Doctors to give pre-hospital blood transfusions to those who need it..
It moved to a new airbase at Outmarsh, Semington, near Melksham in May 2018. From there it can scramble in two minutes and reach anywhere in Wiltshire in eleven minutes.
To find out more go to: https://www.wiltshireairambulance.co.uk/about-us