New life-sav­ing he­li­copter takes to the air in Ar­gyll

The Oban Times - - News -

AR­GYLL and the is­lands are set to ben­e­fit from en­hanced air am­bu­lance cov­er­age as the coun­try’s only char­ity-funded ser­vice un­veiled its new life­sav­ing he­li­copter.

Af­ter two years of na­tion­wide op­er­a­tions, Scot­land’s Char­ity Air Am­bu­lance (SCAA) has up­graded to a larger, faster and more pow­er­ful EC135 T2i.

Its ar­rival her­alds the re­ti­ral of the last Bolkow 105 air am­bu­lance in the UK which orig­i­nally launched SCAA’s ser­vice in 2013 and has de­ployed to emer­gen­cies in Ar­gyll on many oc­ca­sions.

The new EC135 is ex­pected to be fully op­er­a­tional at SCAA within the next two weeks with crew train­ing now in its fi­nal stages.

Scot­land’s Health Min­is­ter, Shona Ro­bi­son MSP, of­fi­cially marked this ma­jor new phase in the char­ity’s de­vel­op­ment when she at­tended a re­cep­tion at SCAA’s Perth Air­port base on Fri­day.

Ms Ro­bi­son said: ‘ Within lit­tle more than two years Scot­land’s Char­ity Air Am­bu­lance has be­come an in­te­gral part of our vi­tal emer­gency ser­vices, re­spond­ing to over 850 call outs from the High­lands and Is­lands to the Bor­ders and pro­vid­ing an in­valu­able ser­vice to the peo­ple of Scot­land.

‘I con­grat­u­late SCAA on their out­stand­ing achieve­ments to date and in up­grad­ing their air­craft which will al­low them to pro­vide a more en­hanced life­sav­ing ser­vice to the peo­ple of Scot­land.

‘This new he­li­copter will mean that the Char­ity Air Am­bu­lance can now fly fur­ther and faster than ever be­fore. This will help the air am­bu­lance pro­vide an even bet­ter ser­vice to the peo­ple of Scot­land who will need it most.’

The newly ac­quired EC135 - the most widely used he­li­copter type in air am­bu­lance ser­vice world­wide will: in­crease the speed, range, en­durance and pay­load, al­low SCAA to fly at night and in cloud, of­fer a larger cabin which would al­low a fam­ily mem­ber or a physi­cian to fly with the pa­tient and al­low bet­ter ac­cess to the pa­tient in flight and al­low SCAA to carry a ma­ter­nity seat and an in­cu­ba­tor.

LIFE-SAVER: Health min­is­ter Shona Ro­bi­son MSP un­veils the EC135 he­li­copter.

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