Did you know? - Great Western Air Ambulance Charity
Will Hicks to brave the London Marathon in a helicopter costume for GWAAC
April 19, 2023
Multi-agency training day prepares crews for real-life emergencies
May 31, 2023
Will Hicks to brave the London Marathon in a helicopter costume for GWAAC
April 19, 2023
Multi-agency training day prepares crews for real-life emergencies
May 31, 2023

We can administer lifesaving blood transfusions

On average since 2018, we have administered emergency blood transfusions to nearly 45 patients a year.
This is thanks to the frozen plasma we carry as well as fresh blood provided to us by Freewheelers, a blood bike charity that we work closely with.
"It’s revolutionised our ability to manage seriously unwell patients who have lost a lot of blood. We can now start blood transfusions at the side of the road. It’s made a huge difference to patients, many of which would have previously died." - Critical Care Doctor, Ed Valentine
Click below to read our blog post from 2021 that explains why blood makes such a big difference to the service we provide.

We carry specialist equipment usually found in a hospital

We carry the same specialist equipment usually found in a hospital, such as ventilators and kit for emergency procedures including surgery.
Most of the equipment we carry is not found on a land ambulance, as our crew need to be specially trained in critical care to use it.
We also carry equipment that is suitable for all patients regardless of age and size, such as new born babies.
Click below to find out more about our ultrasound machines and watch a demonstration from Specialist Paramedic in Critical Care, Pete

We have access to advanced drugs

Our crew can administer advanced drugs to patients at the scene of their incident.
This means we can provide things such as advanced pain relief and even anaesthetise the patient before they are taken to hospital.
In 2022, 162 of our patients received a pre-hospital emergency anaesthetic.
Click the button below to find out more stats about our service.

Our paramedics help the pilot get to, and land as close to the patient as possible

Every one of our paramedics is a qualified Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) Technical Crew Member.

Once qualified as a HEMS Technical Crew Member, the paramedic can take dispatch calls and initiate a response. This involves plotting the route to the job, programming the GPS system on board the aircraft to assist the pilot in navigating, and identifying suitable and safe landing sites as close to the scene as possible.

Because we are an air ambulance, we have certain exemptions from aviation law to allow our crew to get to a patient as quickly and efficiently as possible, such as landing in unsurveyed sites, and having priority over other air traffic. However, to be able to qualify for these exemptions, there must be a HEMS Technical Crew Member on board, sitting in the cockpit alongside the pilot.

Click the button below to take a virtual tour of Helimed 65.

We make decisions to bypass the closest hospital in favour of the most suitable one

Thanks to the UK’s Major Trauma Network, we can take our patients to specialist hospitals that are best prepared for the types of incidents we often attend.

In 2022, 88% of patients we took to hospital were taken to either a Major Trauma Centre (MTC) or a cardiac specialist hospital.

Click the button below to find out more about MTCs, the UK’s Major Trauma Network and how they help us provide better care for our patients.

Within our crew, individuals have different specialisms

Our Critical Care Doctors also work in hospitals across the UK. They bring a collection of specialist skills and knowledge to our team. We have doctors that specialise in neurology, neonatology, emergency medicine, cardiology, intensive care and more!

Similarly, our paramedics come from different backgrounds and have different skills that they bring to the team. Some have previously worked in hazardous area response teams (HART) and others still work with children in neonatology.

Why not read one of the blog posts below that delve deeper into members of our crew and each of their specialities.

Call Your Local Shop