Helimed in field

Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance unveils new road based life-saver

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Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance paramedics have taken to the road in their new upgraded Rapid Response Vehicle, with an emergency involving a choking baby being their first mission in the hi-viz transport.
The Skoda Octavia 4 x 4 replaces the previous Kia Sportage which has become a familiar sight at emergencies within a five-mile radius of the air base.
The RRV - which has been a part of SCAA’s life-saving options since the service launched in 2013 - is also used when the helicopter is offline for extreme weather or technical reasons.
SCAA lead paramedic John Pritchard said the state-of-the-art hi-tech vehicle is another vital asset in SCAA’s fast reaction life-saving capabilities.
“The new bespoke car gets paramedics rapidly to emergencies within the local area allowing early clinical assessment and intervention,” he said. “Its spacious interior allows us to carry all the essential life-saving drugs and equipment for immediate treatment and resuscitation.
“The interior has also been customised for our specific needs, creating the perfect operational road partner for SCAA paramedics and a highly effective emergency response service for the critical care of patients.”
SCAA’s non-transporting paramedic response vehicle has been deployed over 100 times since the service launched and the latest model is already proving invaluable.
Hi-tech additions for SCAA’s latest vehicle include:
* On board camera - unique outwith Trauma Team vehicles;
* Amber lights allowing airfield access for use at SCAA airbase;
* Modular storage compartment - bespoke customised area for SCAA medical response equipment;
* Genesis emergency warning system - computer controlled emergency warnings, siren and blue light configurations;
* Anti-theft device – allows vehicle key to be removed but engine remains running so as to power emergency warning systems while vehicle is stationary, unmanned and secured.
SCAA Chief Executive David Craig explained that a rapid response road vehicle was a recognised asset within most charity air ambulance operations elsewhere in the UK.
“The RRV provides additional resilience to our operation enabling us to respond rapidly to emergencies whenever there is planned maintenance on the helicopter or when a nearby location is much quicker and easier to locate by road,” he said.
“This ensures SCAA continues to provide a life-saving service to those that require time critical care.”