Following the successful operation of four temporary night-lit emergency helipads across Herefordshire and Shropshire, Midlands Air Ambulance Charity has announced it is now rolling out further temporary night-lit sites in the counties, to enable a greater number of patients in urgent need of medical attention reach the hospitals best suited for their specific injuries.
The current sites, which were granted funded by a separate organisation, the County Air Ambulance Trust and its HELP Appeal, launched in February 2016 and are located in Bridgnorth, Ludlow, Bishops Castle, Shobdon and Tilstock.
Since last October, the charity’s three aircraft have been utilising the temporary helipads in the hours of darkness, meaning the aircrew were able to fly to more remote locations by helicopter at night, enabling them to reach and treat those in urgent need of medical attention.
Following the success of the first phase of sites, the team who assisted in creating the Community Emergency Landing Light Support (CELLS) programme, paramedic Julian Spiers and Captain Richard Steele, received the innovation accolade at MAAC’s Recognition Awards and Charity Ball in 2016.
Julian Spiers comments: “At Midlands Air Ambulance, we strive to offer the very best care to our patients, and this includes those who are unfortunate to need our services in the more remote parts of the region. The CELLS project was launched to enable us to bring the very best clinical skillset to the patient, and to reduce transfer times to specialist hospitals after dark.
“Phase I of the project has been a great success and the roll out of Phase II will mean we reach and treat more people as demand for our service continues to grow.”
As part of Phase II, a further CELLS site in the Aylestone Hill area of Hereford is progressing and it is hopeful this site will be available for use in January 2017. Midlands Air Ambulance Charity is therefore appealing to local residents to volunteer for CELLS training within the next few months.
Further sites will be reviewed with a further grant received from the HELP Appeal to support the project.
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