From 2 March, when poor weather or maintenance prevents Devon’s emergency aircraft from flying, two new critical care cars mean the charity’s critical care teams can still provide specialist life-saving care by road.
In the Autumn 2018 Budget, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced £10 million in capital funding for air ambulance services. Devon Air Ambulance applied for £226,061 of this fund, to purchase two critical care cars, all their medical equipment and 35 public access defibrillators.
Devon Air Ambulance state: “Proud of being 100% independent, Devon Air Ambulance have always been forward thinking, putting the patient at the heart of all that we do. Our service delivers life-saving enhanced and critical care to our patients wherever their injury or illness has occurred, whether at home, work or out and about within Devon. Our clinical teams treat the most critically ill and injured patients and then assist in conveying them to specialist treatment centres, with the aim to improve outcomes and reduce deaths.”
Nigel Hare, Operations Director, said, “The two fully-equipped Volvo XC90 Critical Care Cars (CCC) have now arrived and will shortly be going into service. These CCCs provide resilience and capability across our geographically large county when one of our aircraft is unable to fly. This development ensures our highly skilled critical care paramedics and doctors, and their advanced life-saving equipment, mirroring the medical equipment on board our aircraft, can still be delivered to scene, improving the clinical outcomes for patients.
“The CCCs are very safe, fast, and equipped with all that’s needed for our teams to deliver life-saving treatment to a patient. They are fitted with blue lights and warning sirens and our teams have also undergone extensive enhanced emergency response ‘blue light’ driver training.”
Darren Goodwin, Operations Manager, said, “We undertook a lot of research for this project, looking at the vehicles similar services were using and what would be the best fit for Devon. The Volvo XC90, which is also used by many other emergency services, was the best fit for our service. We would like to thank Volvo UK for their help and support with this project and of course the Department of Health for the grant given which allowed us to buy these life-saving vehicles.”