Midlands Air Ambulance

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Midlands Air Ambulance
IATA ICAO Callsign
- - -
Founded 1990
Operating bases RAF Cosford
Tatenhill Airfield
Strensham services
Fleet size Three Eurocopter EC 135
Eurocopter EC 135 G-HWAA based at Strensham

The Midlands Air Ambulance Charity (formerly County Air Ambulance[1]) is a United Kingdom regional helicopter emergency medical service.[2] It operates three Eurocopter EC 135 helicopters during daylight hours as air ambulances in the Midlands region of England.[2]

History[edit]

The Midlands Air Ambulance was first registered as a charity in 1990, and started using the County Air Ambulance name in 1993. The role of the charity is the provision of Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) in the Midland Counties of England[2] responding to 2,000 potentially life saving missions every year.[3]

At launch, the Midlands Air Ambulance operated a single helicopter based at Halfpenny Green Airport and, at its peak, had grown to operating three Eurocopter EC 135 aircraft covering 8,000 square miles (21,000 km2) across twelve counties of Central England and Wales.[2] The reduction in areas covered began in 2006 and was largely due to other air ambulance charities setting up or expanding and to consolidation of West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) assets in the WMAS areas of responsibility. The operating name was changed back to Midlands Air Ambulance in 2009 to reflect the smaller area covered.[2]

In September 2015, three members of the Midlands Air Ambulance team were honoured with a Pride of Britain Award following their heroic response to a roller coaster crash at Alton Towers.[4]

Organisation[edit]

The charity is supported by senior paramedics from the West Midlands Ambulance Service. The charity is funded entirely by charitable donations given by corporate organisations and members of the public. In 2007/2008, the charity had an income of £6,222,000.[2]

The charity should not be confused with the County Air Ambulance Trust, which is a separate registered charity.[5] That charity raises money for the provision of infrastructure items (such as helipads at hospitals) and also make an annual contribution towards a number of air ambulance charities, including the Midlands Air Ambulance.

Coverage[edit]

The Midlands Air Ambulance service is provided using three Eurocopter EC 135 helicopters based at RAF Cosford - G-OMAA, Tatenhill Airfield - G-EMAA and at Strensham services - G-HWAA respectively.[2] The service covers the English counties of Worcestershire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, the West Midlands, and the English/Welsh border area.[2]

Helicopters[edit]

The Midlands Air Ambulance was the first charity in the United Kingdom to use the Eurocopter EC 135 helicopter in order to provide an air ambulance service. Each helicopter is crewed by one pilot and two paramedics, or, occasionally, one paramedic and one doctor. The paramedics are selected from the ambulance service nearest their base. These services include the West Midlands Ambulance Service and the Great Western Ambulance Service. Until 31 March 2008, they also operated for the East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) based at East Midlands airport but, after some political wrangling between WMAS and EMAS, the aircraft was withdrawn and redeployed into Tatenhill, Staffordshire, despite the presence of the nearby Cosford aircraft. The move was spun publicly as the launch of the Staffordshire Air Ambulance.[6]

As with a number of other air ambulance charities in the UK, the pilots, aircraft and support engineers are provided by Bond Air Services.

From 3 April 2014 the MAA officially unveiled its first wholly owned helicopter (call sign - G-OMAA), which replaced one of the three leased aircraft. This a momentous day in Midlands Air Ambulance Charity’s 23-year history.[7] The aircraft is based at RAF Cosford. The other two aircraft are provided by Bond Air Services.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]