The Great Western Air Ambulance Charity is asking for help from members of the public to ensure that it can get to more patients in need.
When someone is seriously ill or injured time is of the essence, and if they are to survive GWAAC’s team of critical care paramedics and doctors need to be with them as soon as possible.
To ensure they get to the scene the pilot needs to land nearby, in a manner that is safe for the general public as well as those on board.
Pilot Rich MacLaughlin said: “It can be quite challenging to find a safe place to land as close as possible to the patient, and I have to take into account the risk of landing to the general public as well as the crew and the patient.
“That is why we are asking for the help of the public to ensure we can land safely, and get help to the patient.”
GWAAC is asking for people to follow a few simple steps if they spot the helicopter overhead:
- Move to the edges of the field so that the pilot has a clear space to land.
- The helicopter creates a strong downwash, and so hold on to your children, dogs, and any loose items you have with you.
- When the helicopter is coming in to land cover your eyes, to protect them from any debris.
Once the helicopter has landed and the blades have stopped turning the pilot will be happy to show you around, and answer any questions you may have.
During 2015 GWAAC attended 1,655 jobs, 632 by helicopter and 1,023 by critical care car.
Despite the need for the service they receive no day to day funding from the Government or National Lottery.
To find out more, visit www.gwaac.com.