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 Thames Valley & Chiltern Air Ambulance

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Maintained by Richard Porter

About the Air Ambulance

The Thames Valley & Chiltern Air Ambulance Trust, launched in June 1999, provides a life saving service for the Thames Valley area covering Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and just into Northamptonshire (see map).

The Trust is a charity which receives no funding from the NHS or from the National Lottery, but relies entirely on sponsorship, donations and fundraising activities to meet the running cost of £1.2M per annum.

The yellow liveried Bölkow 105 helicopter is based at RAF Benson, near Wallingford, Oxfordshire and is operated by Bond Air Services from whom it is leased by the South Central Ambulance Service NHS Trust (SCAS). It carries a full range of life saving and medical equipment and two fully qualified Paramedics. It can transport one patient with the ability to treat and care in the air.

The helicopter is operated in daylight hours and is on call seven days a week. The value of the Air Ambulance is in being able to bring the benefits of rapid Paramedic intervention to a medical situation in order to give primary care and then airlift patients, if required, to the most appropriate hospital within the Golden Hour.

tight spot

As a small flexible and highly manoeuvrable helicopter, the Air Ambulance can also reach areas that ground vehicles could not, such as remote rural areas, golf courses, railways, canals etc.

The Air Ambulance lands at Wexham Park Hospital, Slough; John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford; Stoke Mandeville Hospital, Aylesbury; Great Western Hospital, Swindon; North Hampshire Hospital, Basingstoke and Northampton General Hospital as well as Kettering, Milton Keynes and other specialist hospitals as necessary.

To-date, the helicopter has answered at least 9,666 emergency calls within the Thames Valley area, saving lives. To raise the necessary funds to maintain this life-saving service, the Thames Valley & Chiltern Air Ambulance Trust desperately needs your help. Through donations, bequests (get forms), additional volunteers or fund raising initiatives, or join our weekly Whirlybird Lottery, every penny helps.

Although the helicopter is leased and tasked by SCAS, all the funding for this with the sole exception of the Paramedics’ salaries (but including additional training and flying overalls) must be raised by the Trust. There is no support from Government or the National Lottery.

We would like to raise sufficient funds to be able to lease a larger helicopter, the Eurocopter EC135, which can transport two patients or a patient and a relative.

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©2008 Thames Valley & Chiltern Air Ambulance Trust, Registered Charity Number 1084910

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