AN AIR ambulance charity which carries out rescues in Ashbourne is getting ready to welcome the arrival of a new helicopter, which will be first machine it has owned outright.
Midlands Air Ambulance, which is occasionally called to help cover the area for Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance, currently leases three EC135 helicopters but the charity will be replacing one of the machines with a brand new, state-of-the-art EC135T2e helicopter.
The helicopter, which will be operational from the RAF Cosford airbase in March, was initially built at Eurocopter in Germany and will be delivered to Bond Air Services in Staverton in December.
It will be painted and fitted with pre-hospital medical equipment, plus additional equipment for potential night-flying between lit helipads and night Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) operations.
Brendan Connor, chairman for Midlands Air Ambulance, said: “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 incredible support our vital life saving service receives from local Midlands’ communities and businesses, which we are extremely grateful for.”
“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.
“But we cannot afford to rest on our laurels and although this is a milestone achievement in our 22 years of service, we need the support from the local communities we serve now, more than ever.”
To find out about the new machine and follow progress of its fit-out follow the charity on Twitter @MAA_Charity or search Facebook.