Appeal for faster air ambulance

A campaign is up, up and away to raise £250,000 to make the Great Western Air Ambulance even more of a life-saver.

The charity want to lease a new EC135 aircraft, which will be able to fly to emergencies four minutes faster than its current helicopter, the Bolkow 105. 

The new chopper based at Filton Airfield near Bristol would be able to reach speeds of up 180 miles per hour, compared to 150 miles an hour now. 

A new aircraft would also be easier to work with and safer, because it can load patients in from the side, unlike the current craft which has a rear hatch. 

Inside, the cabin is roomier, leaving more space for paramedics to work. There is also space for a family member to travel alongside patients.

The Great Western Air Ambulance helicopter is based at Filton Airfield and has been flying and responding to emergencies across Bath, Bristol, Gloucestershire and Witshire since 2008. 

For a charity, it is very expensive to run: a minute's worth of fuel costs £15, while each flight totals £600. In all, the air ambulance has an annual running cost of £1.5m. 

Find out more about the appeal by clicking here

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