New life-saving helicopter takes to the air in Argyll
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.