Air Ambulance cleared to fly following safety fears

Air Ambulance cleared to fly following safety fears

Reporter:

Francis Batt

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Air Ambulance cleared to fly following safety fears

The Air Ambulance was back in action on Saturday evening after being grounded for more than two days.

The Thames Valley and Chiltern Air Ambulance Trust announced on Thursday that its service - which covers Windsor, Slough, Maidenhead and the surrounding areas - was being temporarily suspended, while Bond Air Services checked out all 22 of its EC 135 aircraft following the fatal police helicopter crash in Glasgow.

Initially it had not been felt necessary to ground the fleet of aircraft after the crash. But the discovery of a possible problem with the fuel system on one of them led to Thursday's decision.

On Saturday it was announced that Bond Air Services had worked with Eurocopter - manufacturers of the EC 135 - to rectify the defect.

Mark McGeown, chief executive of Thames Valley and Chiltern Air Ambulance, said: "We fully believe the safety of patients and air ambulance staff is the number one priority.

"Obviously we are pleased to be able to resume normal operations. I would like to thank our colleagues in the South Central Ambulance Service and the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance for helping us maintain our emergency cover during these last few days."

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