Wiltshire Publications

Wiltshire Air Ambulance airlifts patient on first day of operations

WILTSHIRE Air Ambulance’s new helicopter airlifted a patient on its first day of operations on Friday 9th January. 

The crew were tasked to a road traffic collision involving a pick up truck and a HGV at a slip road off the A417 near Cirencester in Gloucestershire.

The air ambulance arrived on scene 11 minutes after taking off from its base in Devizes shortly after 11.00am.

The patient, a 26-year-old man, was trapped in the truck and Wiltshire Air Ambulance (WAA) Critical Care paramedics Richard Miller and Ross Culligan worked with land ambulance paramedics in treating him.

After he was released from his vehicle by fire fighters the patient was flown by Wiltshire Air Ambulance, piloted by George Lawrence, to Great Western Hospital, Swindon, at 12.40pm, a journey time of five minutes.

WAA paramedic Richard Miller said, “The patient was trapped in his vehicle for over an hour and had a head injury, arm and leg injuries. The speed of the aircraft meant the patient was at hospital quickly. We were pleased to assist our land ambulance colleagues in treating and transporting the patient.

“The new helicopter is a purpose built air ambulance and it is quicker and bigger than the previous helicopter, and the crew had an input into the design of the medical interior. All of the crew are proud to serve on Wiltshire Air Ambulance.”

The air ambulance was tasked to attend a medical incident in Trowbridge shortly before 3.00pm but had to abort the mission seconds after taking off due to poor visibility caused by low cloud. WAA paramedics were deployed in the Rapid Response Vehicle to assist a land ambulance.

WAA’s new helicopter is a stand alone air ambulance and is the first Bell 429 to operate as an air ambulance in the UK. It has two Critical Care paramedics onboard.

David Philpott, chief executive of WAA said, “Our best wishes go to the patient that we airlifted today. It’s thanks to the people of Wiltshire who raise money for us that keeps Wiltshire Air Ambulance flying and delivering the best possible medical care to people in need.”