Wiltshire Air Ambulance announce helicopter review decision

Wiltshire Air Ambulance announce helicopter review decision

3-Mar-2022 Source: Wiltshire Air Ambulance


Wiltshire Air Ambulance has decided to continue with its existing helicopter until at least 2025.

It follows a review by the charity’s board and leadership team, which formed part of its three-year strategy launched last August.

The charity has used its existing Bell 429 helicopter since becoming a standalone operation in 2015. 

Wiltshire Air Ambulance director of income generation and communications Barbara Gray explained: “As part of our three-year strategy, we said we would hold a review into our helicopter. 

“That has now been completed and we’ve decided that given the unknown economic impact of the global pandemic, it is not the right time to make a change. 

“In 2025 the helicopter will be ten years old and that feels like the right milestone to review the situation again.”

Wiltshire Air Ambulance has already increased the number of doctors on shift, which also featured in the charity’s three-year strategy. 

The aircrew has been strengthened by three hospital doctors – Maria Smith, Rosie Furse and Reuben Cooper – who had previously provided ad-hoc voluntary shifts for several years.

There are also succession plans being drawn up as the charity’s chairman is due to step down in 2023, and its chief executive retiring a year later.

For the 2021-22 financial year, Wiltshire Air Ambulance’s annual income target increased to £4 million, the equivalent of around £11,000 a day.

Barbara added: “With fuel and energy bills rises, plus national insurance increases and the cost of living going up, we know it’s going to be a tough year.

“However, we need your support more than ever, whether that’s through playing our lottery or raffle, by leaving a gift in your will or by joining our regular giving scheme.

“Without the generosity of the general public and local businesses, we wouldn’t be where we are today and with your ongoing support we can continue to be there for the people of Wiltshire, Bath and surrounding areas.”

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