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01 March 2012

Air ambulance denies restricting access

A charity that delivers services by an air ambulance has reaffirmed its intent to commit to the area of Northumberland after rumours that it was cutting back.

The air ambulance has asked for support from the residents after talk that it had ceased to provide their service to the northernmost areas of the region.

A meeting of the North Sunderland Parish Council was reported as holding talks regarding a consideration that they would hold back on providing finance to the charity as it was not operating in the area any more.

The charity have two aircraft bases with one located at Langwathby, near Penrith and the other, Durham Tees Valley Airport, Darlington.

The air ambulance can arrive at the scene of an accident in 25 minutes, anywhere in the region. Further, it takes a maximum of 20 minutes to fly into Royal Victoria Infirmary’s trauma centre in Newcastle.

Mrs Walton commented the fact that the charity had managed to replace its older, rented fleet, made these journey times possible.

She went on to say that this upgrade also enabled them to provide their service to more incidents, and in harsher conditions.

“Our commitment to all Northumberland communities remains at 100 per cent, just as it always has been. To demonstrate this, last year alone we responded to 177 requests for assistance in the county. We are quicker, more reliable, and better equipped than ever before, but now we need the support of the Northumberland public to allow us to continue to operate at this level.”