Last week saw Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire’s Air Ambulance crews begin providing 24-hour emergency cover for the first time.
Earlier this year the charity announced it was committing resources to providing a 24-hour Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) to respond to more of the most serious medical emergencies and accidents than ever before.
Friday, October 19, saw the first weekend of 24-hour duty.
While not being needed for any emergency missions, they managed three good nights of training. The Saturday night saw the focus swing to getting all crew comfortable using the night vision goggles, including landing at a couple of ad hoc sites.
Karen Jobling, CEO of the charity, said: “There’s quite a lot of start-up training to filter all of our clinicians and new pilots through, and this will take a bit of time. We have a very professional crew and I was very proud to see them go through their paces as we transition to 24/7 operations.”
By taking the decision to fly at night as well, the Lincs and Notts crew are one of only three air ambulance charities in the UK to operate a helicopter 24 hours a day.
The new 24-hour service will initially be for a two-year trial period.
During this time the medical emergencies to which the helicopter is dispatched will be closely reviewed and monitored to ensure they continue to provide the most appropriate critical care across the two counties.