February 11, 2013:
One of two helicopter air ambulances operated by Bond Air Services on behalf of the Scottish Ambulance Service, an EC135T2i, has reached 10,000 flying hours.
The total was passed while transferring a maternity patient with abdominal pains from Cambeltown hospital to Crosshouse hospital in Kilmarnock, by one of the first EC135s introduced into Bond's fleet.
As part of the recently renewed contract between Bond and SAS, two of the latest medically-equipped EC145T2 aircraft will be introduced in September 2014. The new aircraft type will further enhance this long-standing service by delivering improved range and endurance, while also providing more room for patients and equipment.
Garry Fraser, SAS general manager for air ambulance operations, says: "The two EC135s fly around 2,000 missions each year and were the first helicopters in Scotland to have been purpose-built to our specific medical specifications. They provide an essential lifeline to remote and rural communities, as well as responding to major incidents and serious emergencies across the country."
These government-funded helicopters in Glasgow and Inverness are now to be supplemented by a Bolkow 105 based at Perth, and also operated by Bond Air Services.
The recently-launched Scotland's Charity Air Ambulance (SCAA) has announced that Bond was selected to supply the new frontline life-saving resource for an initial seven-year period, following a rigorous and extensive tendering process.
A five-strong paramedic team will crew the charity helicopter. Bond training services manager Andy Mottram says that the men will undergo three weeks of intensive helicopter familiarisation training. "The staff recruited for SCAA are top-line paramedics and they show all the aptitude, enthusiasm and ability to make first class air ambulance crew," he says. "The helicopter is a completely different environment for them but they all seem comfortable with it and are settling into training perfectly."
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