After Yorkshire Air Ambulance decided to extend their hours of operations, Cornwall Air Ambulance has followed suit. The air ambulance will be available for medical flight operations for longer hours every day. These extended hours are currently under a 12-month trial period and the charity will choose to either continue or discontinue with it depending on how well it performs.
Additional Shift to be Covered by Two Paramedics
As of now, the charity’s helicopter crew is available on call for 12 hours a day from 7:30 AM till 7:30 PM. Even if the weather is too bad for the helicopter to fly, they still respond to emergencies using their critical care cars. The medical flight crew will continue to be on call during the same timeframe even under the new trial.
But in addition to this, there will be an additional shift that will be covered by two critical care paramedics. These paramedics will respond to medical emergencies between 6:00 PM and 2:00 AM by road between Wednesday and Sunday.
Trial of Extended Medical Flight Hours to Help Assess Demand
According to the charity’s chief executive, Paula Martin, their historical data has shown that there is a drop in demand for critical care emergencies after 7:30 PM. However, the charity has seen some examples in which serious incidents required emergency response outside of their normal hours of operations. The charity plans to help address medical transport need for these types of incidents.
The two paramedics will be using critical care cars, which carry advanced life-saving equipment just like their helicopters. By launching this trial period for extended hours of operations, Cornwall Air Ambulance hopes to be able to accurately assess the actual demand of critical care emergencies after their normal hours of operations.