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Monday, October 1, 2007

Rotorcraft Report: U.K.’s East Anglian EMS Expands, Covering 4 Counties


The United Kingdom’s East Anglian Air Ambulance service has expanded its area of operation and now covers Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire counties, about 11 percent of England.

The helicopters, two Eurocopter BK117s and one BO105, cover an area of more than 5,000 sq mi with a population of 2.5 million. The BO105 is primarily used as a back-up when one of the BK117s is in for maintenance. The aircraft are called out on emergencies, mostly road traffic accidents, four times a day on average, according to the organization. The helicopters fly only during daylight hours. However, the service is considering flying interfacility transfers at night from one lighted helipad to another.

All three aircraft are leased from Sterling Aviation. Medical personnel are provided by Magpas Charity, which provides voluntary pre-hospital medical services. Depending on the type of emergency, the crew Magpas provides may include a doctor but always includes a paramedic. Some of the medical personnel come from the National Health Service. The helicopter equipment includes a defibrillator, an electrocardiogram, and ventilator.

The East Anglian Air Ambulance service is a charity and dependent on fundraising and private donations. It costs £1.7 million ($3.4 million) a year to run the air ambulance service.

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