Air Rescue Operations: London Air Ambulance
ACS provides air ambulance charters to protect your life when you're out of reach. Read more about medical aircraft services in London & how they help you.
Air Charter Service asked some of the tireless heroes of the UK's London Air Ambulance to tell us a little more about the organisation and its daring, rewarding rescues.
Captain Neil Jeffers is the Chief Pilot at London Air Ambulance and helps deliver an advanced trauma team safely to the side of critically injured patients that live, work and commute within London every day. London currently only has one emergency medical helicopter serving the whole of the city. This is why the organisation is currently fundraising for a second emergency medical helicopter for the city as part of the 'Your London, Your Helicopter' campaign.
The Association of Air Ambulances represents 14 of the 19 total related services across the UK while the Air Ambulance Service represents several others. Limited government oversight and funding exists for many of these individual operations, with many being dependant on the support of the community which they service.
"Through the acquisition of a second helicopter, and by extending its daylight flying hours in the summer months, it means that the charity will be able to reach an estimated 400 more patients per year by aircraft. By having a helicopter available at all times, it will also give London greater resilience during major incidents," she says. "He has safely landed on bridges, multi-storey car parks, box junctions and in busy, high profile locations such as Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus."
Average flight time to a scene is around six minutes and the helicopter can be airborne within four minutes. It is vital to think quickly and navigate accurately, as every second can be critical for London's Air Ambulance when getting to its patients.
Due to the lack of government oversight and standardization across these individual operations, some often balance precariously on a financial edge while others receive a great deal more government support. This has caused some tension in recent years, as all of these rescue teams work exhausting hours and provide a specialised service which too few are qualified to take up.