Posted: Thu 30th Jun 2016

Wales Air Ambulance Launches Fourth Aircraft

news.wales / newyddion.cymru
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Jun 30th, 2016

WALES is set to have the biggest air ambulance operation in the UK, as its service launches a fourth helicopter, it was announced today. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

And the Wales Air Ambulance Charity will operate its additional aircraft – an EC135 T2e – from a new base in Cardiff which is its first-ever in the capital. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The extra helicopter will enable the charity to accept more missions to help save lives across the country. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Since its launch in 2001, it has flown 24,000 missions across the country. Its current fleet of three helicopters operates from bases in Llanelli, Caernarfon and Welshpool. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The Wales Air Ambulance is the official air ambulance operation in Wales, providing air cover for life-threatening, life-changing and time critical illness or injury. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Its medical crews, seconded from NHS Wales, provide pioneering treatments and work closely with all other official emergency agencies and hospitals in Wales. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The fourth helicopter will be unveiled to the public at the Swansea Air Show, which runs from July 1 to 3. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

During the rest of July it will be used for training. It will become operational within the Wales Air Ambulance fleet in August. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

WAAC Cardiff Castle_1 18 March 16 ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Image: Wales Air Ambulance at Cardiff Castle on a mission in the city centre ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The charity receives no government funding. It relies on public donations to keep the helicopters flying. It needs to raise £6m annually to maintain its service. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Wales Air Ambulance Chief Executive Angela Hughes said: “It’s always been our vision to expand our fleet so we can help more patients, and to have a base in Cardiff. Although the city has a full transport infrastructure, its success as a commercial capital means air transfer to hospital can be the quickest way to convey patients. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“Subject to a successful six-month trial period, the fourth helicopter and its Cardiff satellite base will become a permanent new resource for the Wales Air Ambulance. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“We’d like to invite visitors to Swansea Airshow to meet paramedics and doctors and see the helicopter.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Wales Air Ambulance has been working with helicopter operator Babcock since its launch in 2001. Babcock provides the charity with custom-designed aircraft, experienced pilots and expert engineers. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The fourth aircraft will be based at Cardiff Heliport. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​



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