This month, Cornwall Air Ambulance trust revealed the newest helicopter model they have chosen for the next generation air ambulance for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
The Augusta Westland 169 (AW169) is a state of the art, medically enhanced helicopter costing £7.5m. According to a press release, the charity has already saved £5m and is now launching the New Heli Appeal to raise the remaining £2.5m.
James Oxley, Communications and Marketing Manager for Cornwall Air Ambulance, said an extensive amount of research was conducted over the past year to select the most appropriate and efficient helicopter.
Oxley said: “It needed to save more time and more lives at its simplest. The helicopter we selected is faster, double the fuel range, more powerful and can carry more equipment so it ticked all the boxes.”
A number of activities will be taking place over the next two years to encourage people to support the campaign. Fundraising packs are available for those holding community events and school events for the cause. Additionally, the charity is working with businesses in Cornwall who have been long-time supporters of the air ambulance to gain sponsorships and help raise funds.
The AW169 is faster, more powerful and better equipped than the current helicopter. With these advancements the new air ambulance will be able to respond to more missions, reach more people and carry more equipment.
Oxley added: “When the crew get to a patient they will pretty much be taking a hospital emergency room to the roadside or clifftop. It will allow the crew to provide an enhanced level of care because they will be able to take more advanced equipment with them.”
Air Operations Officer, Steve Garvey, was quoted in the press release saying: “I have no doubt this next generation helicopter will enable my crew to reach more people and save more lives.
“But we can’t do this alone. We need the people of Cornwall and beyond to join us on what could be our most important mission yet – to bring a next generation air ambulance to Cornwall by April 2020, so we can save more lives for many years to come.”
Oxley added: “There really isn’t a community that hasn’t been touched by the air ambulance since its first mission in the 1980’s and I’m pretty certain over the next 20 years – that’s the operational lifespan of the AW169 – there won’t be a community that isn’t touched by it somehow.”
For more information on how to support the New Heli Appeal visit the website or call 01637 889926.
To make a text donation, simply text HELI20 to 70070.