The Air Ambulance Service launches new Critical Care Cars
Two Skoda Kodiaq vRS SUVs have joined The Air Ambulance Service’s (TAAS) fleet as the charity celebrates 20 years of saving lives.
The new Critical Care Cars will replace the charity’s old vehicles to continue supporting the lifesaving missions of the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance (WNAA), who this year celebrate 20 years of service, and the Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance (DLRAA), who celebrate 15 years of service.
The charity’s critical care teams work 365 days a year, 24/7, to help save lives across its five counties and further afield – getting the specialist teams to where they need to be, fast, by choosing the most suitable way of reaching those in their time of need.
As the roads are clearer at night WNAA and DLRAA utilise cars rather than aircraft. The cars are also used within the day to attend emergencies that are quicker to reach by road and enable the charity to continue attending vital missions if the aircraft are unavailable due to maintenance, or if the service is affected by very poor weather conditions.
Whether the crews get to an incident by air or by road, what’s important is that they arrive at the scene to provide pre-hospital critical care to the patient, through expert medical interventions.
Like the aircraft, the cars carry highly qualified critical care paramedics and doctors onboard, as well as the same equipment such as defibrillators/cardiac monitors, CPR chest compression devices, ultrasound solutions, supplies of blood products, and response bags containing vital medical consumables and advanced critical care drugs.
The new Skoda Kodiaq vehicles are powered by a 241bhp, 2.0-litre engine, with all-wheel-drive, and have improved off-road capabilities helping the crews access some of the more remote areas.
They have a high ground clearance allowing for safer driving in the snow, large boot space and shelving to accommodate changes in the equipment the crews carry, and virtual cockpit displays with a large mapping system for improved navigation to incidents.
The new blue lighting package has been improved and incorporates a new siren system for increased awareness among other road users. It also has differing flash patterns that have been led by research for the best results on different road layouts.
The cars have been converted and fitted with blue lights, a custom livery, and bespoke control units by Manchester-based Frontline Emergency Solutions LTD, which provides services to a wide range of customers from NHS Trust Ambulance Services, Police and Fire Services, to Wide load escort, Highway Maintenance and Private Security organisations.
Philip Bridle, Head of Operations at The Air Ambulance Service, said: “It is more imperative than ever that our fleet of Critical Care Cars can meet the demands of the job. The reliability, versatility, and power of the two new Kodiaq models will enable us to continue to respond rapidly to emergencies across our five counties and beyond.
“Thanks to generous public donations and continued support over the last 15 and 20 years, WNAA and DLRAA have driven into 2023 with these meticulously chosen, designed, and equipped new cars for its crew’s and patients’ needs.
“On behalf of everyone at TAAS, I’d like to express our gratitude to Frontline Emergency Solutions Ltd for converting our new cars and for kindly donating their time – saving our charity vital funds.”