Midlands Air Ambulance Charity is a step closer to undertaking air ambulance missions at night, as four night-approved lit helipad sites have now gone live across the region, at Bridgnorth, Ludlow, Bishops Castle and Shobdon.
The charity currently operates 14 hours a day, 365 days a year, flying full air ambulance missions in daylight across the six counties served by the charity, but between lit helipads after the hours of darkness. The new night-approved helipads will assist with the network of suitably lit landing sites that Midlands Air Ambulance Charity can use to airlift those in their greatest hour of need.
In recent years, the charity has found growing demand for the vitally important rapid response service offered by Midlands Air Ambulance at night. Therefore, late last year, the organisation appealed for members of the public who lived within ten minutes of three of the strategically located temporary landing sites to fulfil the post of Community Emergency Landing Light Support (CELLS). The site at Shobdon is operated by remote control by the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity team.
The CELLS ground crew, who are non-clinicians, now volunteer their time between sunset and 9pm to set up the temporary helicopter landing sites when required by Midlands Air Ambulance Charity, enabling the aircrew to land safely after dark and retrieve patients who need specialist treatment within the Golden Hour.
Becky Steele, air operations manager for Midlands Air Ambulance Charity, said: “We pride ourselves on delivering the very best patient care to those who need it most, and our aim to deliver advanced clinical skills and treatment, and to reduce transfer times to specialist hospitals after dark is now coming to fruition.
“I’d like to thank our volunteer CELLS teams at each of the locations, and the land owners who have provided the sites, as they will truly help to make a difference to the patient care we offer after dark.
Further temporary lit helipad sites are being planned for Hereford and Tilstock.
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