Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance were for the first time on duty for 24 hour coverage last weekend.
The new 24-hour service will initially be for a two-year trial period. The increase in the hours the helicopter will be flying means that they will be one of only three Air Ambulance charities in the UK to operate 24 hours a day.
The Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) team were on duty and ready to provide critical care by air for 24 hours a day throughout the weekend from Friday, October 19.
Captain Tim Taylor was on duty for all three night shifts and, although the team didn’t get despatched to any emergency missions, they had some very worthwhile training whilst on standby.
The Friday night shift was very busy with both flying and medical training, including some night flying training which was interrupted by a potential mission.
A couple of missions came in including a crash in the north of Lincolnshire, but just before the helicopter lifted the team got stood down as the land ambulance was dealing with the patient.
Saturday night’s focus was getting all crew comfortable using the night vision goggles so training included landing at a couple of ad-hoc sites and Skegness airfield.
Further night flying training was undertaken on Sunday with the potential of a couple of missions, one in Grantham and the other a suicide, in the early hours. However, the person was confirmed as deceased before the Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance became a consideration.
CEO Karen Jobling said: “There’s quite a lot of start-up training to filter all of our clinicians and new pilots through, and this will take a bit of time. We have a very professional crew and I was very proud to see them go through their paces as we transition to 24/7 operations.”