Press Releases

Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance crew begin night HEMS training

Last year Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance (HIOWAA) announced its commitment to full night flying capability, a major step for the charity as a leader in helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS).  This week HIOWAA is pleased to announce that their enhanced model H135T3, specially equipped for night flying, has now arrived at the charity’s air base in Thruxton, near Andover.  The arrival of the aircraft is part of a three step process which will lead to the commencement of night flying in early 2016.

Within the next two weeks the HIOWAA crew, who have already completed NVIS (night vision imaging system) ground school training, will begin to undertake short night time flights on board the aircraft.   Throughout December and January they will take part in night clinical training exercises with neighbouring Thames Valley Air Ambulance (TVAA).  HIOWAA and TVAA, who together cover the whole of the SCAS region, as well as The Isle of Wight, have a unique partnership, working together as part of their commitment to saving lives.  When HIOWAA commences night HEMS operations in early 2016, South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS) will have the benefit of two helicopters with full night flying capability and a service that will offer our community progressively longer periods of HEMS cover, during the hours of daylight and darkness, 365 days of the year.

The HIOWAA aircraft is deployed by a specialist paramedic working on the special incident desk at the South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS) control centre who screens all 999 emergency calls to establish if the Air Ambulance would be of benefit to the patient.  The desk is crewed by paramedics who are trained in advanced pre-hospital care, and in the final part of the three step process, they will also receive night HEMS training.

HIOWAA CEO Alex Lochrane commented ‘The arrival of our new aircraft signals the start of an intense training period for our crew.  Aviation safety is paramount and, alongside our key partner Bond Air Services Ltd, we will only progress to night HEMS operations once we are confident that training is complete.’

HIOWAA receives no government, statutory or National Lottery funding for operational purposes, relying entirely on the generosity of the people and businesses of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight to keep the Air Ambulance flying and saving lives.

Enquiries:
Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance                                                      Tel:  02380 333377
Caroline Tyree (Communications Co-ordinator) Melissa Hare (Press Officer)
caroline@hiowaa.org  or melissa@hiowaa.org

Notes to Editors

Large file versions of all images are available
Alex Lochrane is available for interview

About Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance (www.hiowaa.org)
HIOWAA is the charity that delivers an advanced trauma team to critically injured people across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

Using an EC135 helicopter, our doctor and paramedic team can be at a patient’s side within minutes, providing life-saving medical interventions, such as blood transfusions and anaesthesia at the roadside.  We fly 7 days a week and attend to an average of 2-3 missions per day, many of them life saving.

Our helicopter can be anywhere within Hampshire in 15 minutes and anywhere within the Isle of Wight within 20 minutes.  It can land in areas the size of a tennis court and on almost any terrain.

HIOWAA receives no Government funding for operational purposes, and relies on the generosity of individuals and organisations to help save lives.  As a charity we only receive help through the secondment of paramedics from our key partner, South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust – SCAS. To keep the Air Ambulance flying we need to raise over £4000 per day.

Our medical achievements

  • We carry blood on board.
  • We have doctors on board for the majority of our missions.
  • We operate a modern EC135 aircraft.

Our current fundraising aims

  • To maintain the current service.
  • To have a doctor on board for every mission.
  • To deliver full night HEMS (Helicopter Emergency Medical Service) capability.
  • To deliver extended flying hours, working towards a 24 hour service.

Our statistics
Since the Air Ambulance became operational on 1st July 2007, it has undertaken 6127 missions.  We fly 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

  • RTC 33%
  • Cardiac/collapse 25%
  • Sports and falls 18%
  • Horse riding 16%
  • Industrial injury 4%
  • Transfers 3%

To find out more, please visit www.hiowaa.org

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