HELP Appeal funds new emergency response vehicle

Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance has added a new emergency response vehicle to its fleet of cars, thanks to a donation of more than £37,000 from the HELP Appeal.

The HELP Appeal is the only charity in the country dedicated to funding NHS hospital helipads including at University Hospital Southampton and St. Mary’s Hospital, Isle of Wight.

The new Volvo XC90 carries the same equipment as the air ambulance, such as blood products, defibrillators, life support machines, and monitors that can record ECG’s, blood pressure, oxygen saturation and carbon dioxide levels.

This means that the care the patient receives on scene is the same as would be the case if the helicopter team had responded.

The car has been specially converted with a blue light fit out which give the doctors, dispatchers, pilots and paramedics on board the best chance of bringing life-saving critical care to patients as quickly and safely as possible.

Michael Henriques (HELP Appeal Chair), Robert Bertram (HELP Appeal CEO) and Richard Corbett, (HIOWAA CEO).

Of the 1,842 missions responded to in 2023, 696 were carried out by car – almost 40%. The charity has responded to almost 6,000 call-outs by car since 2017, when the first vehicle became operational.

The crews respond by road if there is low cloud not permitting the pilot to fly, or when acting as a secondary resource as part of the critical care paramedic car response, launched in September 2022.

Richard Corbett, HIOWAA CEO, said:

“Our road vehicles are vital cogs in the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance wheel. They ensure that we can maximise our response and continue to grow as a service. We are incredibly grateful to the HELP Appeal and its supporters for their generosity, which will undoubtedly change and save lives in our region for many years to come.”

Robert Bertram, HELP Appeal CEO, said:

“The HELP Appeal focuses on funding projects that save time to save lives, whether that’s fit for purpose NHS hospital helipads or state of the art critical care cars. Knowing that HIOWAA’s car is equipped to the same level as an air ambulance means that critically ill patients will be given the best possible treatment at the scene. Thank you to our supporters for making this possible.”

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