A new temporary night-lit landing site has gone live in Hereford, UK, in order to support the operations of the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity (MAAC). The charity operates 14 hours a day, and the temporary helipads means it can continue operations till 21:00 hrs. The new site was launched with a test flight by the charity’s Stensham-based helicopter.
Julian Spiers, airbase supervisor for the Strensham airbase, which covers Herefordshire, said of the new site: “To support emergency pre-hospital patient care in more remote parts of our operating patch after the hours of darkness research was undertaken into locations to host temporary night-lit landing sites in Herefordshire and Shropshire.”
The total number of temporary night-lit helipads in the region is now six. Each site is manned by trained local volunteers who help deploy coloured lights in an emergency to mark a safe landing area for the helicopters. MAAC says that the project would have not been possible without the help of the Community Emergency Landing Light Support (CELLS) volunteers, grant funding from the HELP Appeal and assistance from FEC Heliports Equipment.
Robert Bertram, chief executive of the HELP Appeal, said: “If time is saved, a life can be saved. This is why a lit helipad is so important, particularly when there is less daylight, in ensuring that critically ill patients in the county can be flown as quickly as possibly to a major trauma centre to have the treatment they urgently need. We are so pleased to be able to help the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity in their lifesaving work.”