Yorkshire Air Ambulance
Yorkshire Air Ambulance is a dedicated helicopter emergency service for the Yorkshire and the Humber region of England. It was introduced on 1 April 2000, and currently operates two aircraft. The helicopters provide a swift response time and access to isolated locations, such as beaches, cliff-tops and moorland areas which are inaccessible by road. The Yorkshire Air Ambulance is maintained by the Yorkshire Air Ambulance Trust, a registered charity.
Its original aircraft is based at Nostell Priory and has landing pads at various major hospitals around the region including Leeds General Infirmary, Hull Royal Infirmary and James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough. In October 2007 a second helicopter based at Sheffield City Airport entered service. The airport closed at the end of April 2008 but a heliport facility was still provided for the use of the Air Ambulance and the South Yorkshire Police helicopter. In November 2010 the operational base for the Sheffield-based aircraft was moved to Bagby Airport near Thirsk. The second aircraft made another move in March 2012 to RAF Topcliffe, which it shares with 645 Volunteer Gliding Squadron
In 2012 the BBC reported that planning permission had been granted for a new operating base within the Nostell Priory estate for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance. The new site, including a hangar and aircrew accommodation, is expected to be operational by summer 2013. It will replace the current facility at Leeds/Bradford Airport. As of November 2013 the aircraft formerly based at Leeds/Bradford airport is based at Nostell Priory near Wakefield 
One helicopter (Helimed 99, registration G-SASH) was based at a hangar at Leeds Bradford Airport (EGNM), which enabled servicing and maintenance to be carried out overnight, leading to even quicker response times in many parts of the county. As of November 2013 it is now located at Nostell Priory near Wakefield, where it has a newly renovated hangar and accommodation for crew, plus offices on site. It can be airborne in two minutes of a 999 call and flies at 140 mph (230 km/h) enabling fast paramedic support to the patient.
The second YAA helicopter (Helimed 98, registration G-CEMS) was originally based at Sheffield City Airport but moved in March 2012 to RAF Topcliffe near Thirsk. A spokesman for the charity commented: "What we're looking to do is provide the very best coverage for the whole of Yorkshire, for the five million population.
"The people of Yorkshire are better served with an aircraft at Thirsk and one at Leeds Bradford."
The first helicopter was an MBB Bo 105, but in 2005 they started using an MD 902 Explorer. The Explorer is used extensively in an air ambulance capacity throughout the UK. It has five rotor blades to ensure a smooth flight which can prove particularly beneficial for patients suffering head or spinal injuries. Twin turbine engines give it a cruising speed of 154 mph (248 km/h), and skid landing gear allows it to cope with all types of terrain. Its compact dimensions allow it to land in confined spaces, yet it has room to carry one stretcher patient. It contains all equipment found on any front-line ambulance plus other special items.
They have to land in a great variety of places: in one call, the only land near enough and flat enough to land on was the top of Whernside (2,415 feet).
Cost and financing
The Yorkshire Air Ambulance is a charitable organization solely maintained by donations as it receives no form of official funding. Medical and paramedic staff, however, are provided by the Yorkshire Ambulance Service. The resident population and visitors to Yorkshire finance the Air Ambulance by donations, and various fund-raising events. All donations received are administered by Yorkshire Air Ambulance Donation Office.
Richard Hammond's incident 2006
In September 2006 the original helicopter was involved in transporting the Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond following his high-speed accident at the former-RAF Elvington airfield near York. Following this operation a high profile charity appeal was launched, by 16 October contributions to the appeal have so far amounted to £185,770, although payment authorisation of one donation of £50,000 was "declined".
Hospital landing pads
- Castle Hill Hospital Kingston upon Hull
- Leeds General Infirmary Leeds
- Scarborough General Hospital Scarborough
- James Cook University Hospital Middlesbrough
- Hull Royal Infirmary Kingston upon Hull
- Huddersfield Royal Infirmary Huddersfield
- Pinderfields Hospital Wakefield
- Sheffield Children's Hospital Sheffield
- "Second Air Ambulance is launched". BBC News Online. BBC. 25 October 2007. Retrieved 26 October 2007.
- "£100m airport plan to create jobs". BBC News Online. BBC. 8 February 2008. Retrieved 28 February 2008.
- "Yorkshire Air Ambulance to move from Sheffield base". BBC News Online. BBC. 1 November 2010. Retrieved 20 March 2011.
- "Wakefield base for Yorkshire Air Ambulance helicopter". web page. www.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2 June 2013.
- "Why the Hammond fundraising total dropped". Justgiving blog. Retrieved 3 August 2009.
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