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Midlands Air Ambulance splashes out £45 million of publicly-donated cash
LIFESAVING night-time missions could soon be undertaken by the Midlands Air Ambulance after it purchased its first £4.5 million helicopter.
The charity’s brand-new, state-of-the-art EC135T2e helicopter, funded entirely through public donations, is equipped with the capability for night flight.
Now the group is exploring the viability and operational requirements of flying in the hours of darkness as well as the potential demand for night operations.
Chairman, Brendan Con-nor, said they would not be “resting on their laurels” following the purchase and will be launching a new public appeal in the New Year to raise the extra money needed to fund the extended the service.
It is the first aircraft Mid-lands Air Ambulance has owned, as it currently leases three EC135 helicopters from Bond Air Services.
The new helicopter will be replacing the aircraft based at RAF Cosford, Shropshire.
“The new aircraft will undoubtedly help us to save more lives as it presents us with an opportunity to expand our incredible service and deliver the best possible patient care to those we airlift,” said Mr Connor.
“But we cannot afford to rest on our laurels and al-though this is a milestone achievement in our 22 years of service, we need the support from the communities we serve more than ever.”
The helicopter, which will be operational in March 2014, was built at Eurocopter in Germany and will be delivered to Bond Air Services, at Staverton, near Gloucester, in December.
It will then be painted and fitted with pre-hospital medical equipment, as well as additional equipment for potential night flying between lit helipads and night Heli-copter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) operations.
Mr Connor added: “As part of our objective to reinvest charitable donations into HEMS operations and extending pre-hospital patient care, we made the decision to purchase our own helicopter.
“The new £4.5 million helicopter has been entirely funded through public donations, demonstrating the in-credible support our vital life saving service receives from Midlands’ communities and businesses.”
To see the progress of the aircraft’s fit-out follow Midlands Air Ambulance on Twitter @MAA_Charity or like the charity on Facebook.
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