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Wiltshire Air Ambulance provides critical, life-saving emergency support across the county for up to 19 hours per day, 365 days a year.
You only have to have a quick read of some of the life stories on the Wiltshire Air Ambulance website to realise how life can literally change in an instant and how important it is to have a lifesaving service that can be with you quickly in your time of need.
Thanks to the dedication of its highly skilled aircrews, Wiltshire Air Ambulance can land anywhere in the county and its borders within 11 minutes of first notification of an emergency.
It’s therefore an absolute privilege to be a Trustee of such a vital, emergency support service that has been saving lives for over 28 years. As a registered charity, it relies almost entirely on public donations to keep flying and needs some £3.25m a year to operate the service.
It has been a hugely exciting time as Wiltshire Air Ambulance has moved home from its base in Devizes to its brand new, state-of-the-art headquarters at Outmarsh Farm, Semington, near Melksham.
Thanks to the incredible support of everyone who’s helped to raise much-needed funds for the charity via its Airbase Appeal – from generous individuals, community groups, schools, businesses and grant-making trusts – the air ambulance now has purpose-built facilities that will enable it to continue saving lives for many years to come.
The new airbase means that for the first time in its history, the aircrew and charity team are all under the same roof, making running the lifesaving service more cost-effective in the longer-term.
The site at Semington is ideally, centrally located allowing the air ambulance to maintain its service of reaching all parts of Wiltshire within 11 minutes. In addition, with no ambulance station in Melksham, the service’s paramedics with their critical care skills will provide enhanced medical cover for the area for emergencies such as: road traffic collisions, cardiac arrests and strokes.
The new facilities boast the helipad, the Flight and Operations Centre, that charity team office, training suite and the visitors’ viewpoint overlooking the helipad.
The airbase and helipad have been designed to help enhance response times. This includes trace heating on the helipad which stops ice forming in freezing conditions enabling the helicopter and aircrew to respond to emergency incidents without any delay.
Now that the charity has settled into its fantastic new home, the challenge for its staff, Trustees and supporters remains to keep fundraising to ensure the £3.25m target needed each year to allow the air ambulance to keep operating its lifesaving service is reached.
To find out more about Wiltshire Air Ambulance visit: www.wiltshireairambulance.co.uk.