The Great Western Air Ambulance Charity has received a grant of over £8,000 to enable it to purchase vital equipment to keep both crew and patients safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The grant from The Lions Clubs International Foundation has enabled the frontline charity to purchase a thermal screening system which will screen all crew, staff and visitors to the base for a fever, enabling them to quickly identify and isolate anyone displaying a fever and prevent them being in contact with crew or patients.
The grant has also paid for an iPad for crews to use to access guidelines and policies whilst on duty, which will adhere to infection control processes so as to minimise the risk of contamination.
Lions Clubs’ District Governor for Central and West, Ian Gott, said: “We know that air ambulance charities have been busier than ever during the coronavirus pandemic.
“They’ve faced considerable extra – unbudgeted – day to day costs – at the same time as lockdown has affected fund-raising.
“Now, thanks to an emergency COVID-19 relief grant from the Lions Clubs International Foundation, we can provide immediate support for this emergency service that touches lives in all our local communities.”
GWAAC provides the critical care and air ambulance services across Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset, North Somerset, South Gloucestershire and Gloucestershire.
Despite the lockdown, their crew of Specialist Paramedics and Critical Care Doctors are still working and ready to respond to those in urgent need across the region.
As well as their ‘day job’ – responding to accidents, traumatic incidents and medical emergencies – GWAAC have been and continue to support the COVID-19 response to help reduce the pressure on the NHS and other public services.
National organisation, Air Ambulances UK, worked closely with the Lions Club International Foundation to obtain £160,000 of funding, which has supplied equipment to many air ambulances across the UK in order to help them remain safe in the battle against the virus.
Chief Executive of GWAAC, Anna Perry, said: “The grant we have received will make a huge difference to our crew who are working tirelessly to support our local communities on the frontline – in day to day operations, and in response to COVID-19.
“Our priority is keeping them and the patients they treat safe, and this new equipment will make a huge difference in allowing us to do so.”