05:00PM, Monday 01 October 2018
Thames Valley Air Ambulance took to the sky today (Monday) for the first time as an independent healthcare provider and has new critical care paramedics and a new vehicle fleet.
Paramedics working for the service will now be directly employed by the charity, having previously been provided by South Central Ambulance Service.
As an independent provider, Thames Valley Air Ambulance says it will be able to provide at least 14 extra hours of critical care response a day.
On Friday, September 28, the organisation celebrated at White Waltham Airfield, where the service first began in 1999.
Guests were treated to afternoon tea, speeches and clapped as 11 new critical care paramedics received their epaulettes in a passing out ceremony which will see them join the existing team of 10.
Paramedics who underwent the seven weeks of critical care training were tested with difficult scenarios relating to flying and learnt about about air navigation and technical support for the aircrafts they use.
The service also unveiled its new fleet of four Skoda Kodiaq and a new Airbus H135-T3 helicopter.
The critical response cars have been kitted out with new medical equipment including a new blood warmer which Thames Valley Air Ambulance chief executive Amanda McLean said can ‘save minutes in life threatening conditions’.
Thanking members of the public for their donations, she said: “We are deeply embedded in the communities that we support. We can only do that because they support us. We are very grateful for that.”
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