Wiltshire Air Ambulance continues to drive lifesaving excellence

By Anita Jaynes on 16 November, 2023

Wiltshire Air Ambulance has unveiled its brand-new Critical Care Car, which has been fully funded by a grant from the HELP Appeal.

The BMW G5X X5 xDrive30d (call sign CC23) has arrived at the Semington airbase and is mission ready to take the charity’s critical care paramedics and doctors to emergencies across Wiltshire, Bath and surrounding areas. 

The new car replaces an older Volvo model, which had previously been funded by the ambulance service. Once that agreement ended it would have cost the charity substantial sums to take it on themselves – until the HELP Appeal stepped in. 

The HELP Appeal is the only charity in the country dedicated to funding lifesaving helipads at Major Trauma Centres and key A&E Hospitals across the country including at Southmead Hospital and the Bristol Royal Infirmary. Since its creation in 2009, it has funded 45 helipads, which have seen over 26,000 landings.

Operated by the County Air Ambulance Trust, the HELP Appeal also provided the funds for the helipad installation at Wiltshire Air Ambulance’s airbase when it opened in 2018, including its underfloor heating. 

Wiltshire Air Ambulance Deputy Chief Executive Barbara Gray, said, “Once again the HELP Appeal has very kindly supported our charity with vital funds to secure the purchase of our brand-new Critical Care Car.

”Wiltshire Air Ambulance now has two fully branded cars with state-of-the-art technology and equipment which our crews can use to respond to emergencies when the helicopter is unavailable, when an incident is particularly close by or if we need to send a second crew by road.”

Richard Miller, Wiltshire Air Ambulance’s Safety and Operations Manager, added, “The new Critical Care Car comes with the latest BMW safety technology and an enhanced emergency navigational system to allow our clinicians to reach the scene of the incident quickly and safety. 

“The boot compartment is big enough to carry an exact match of the medical equipment used on-board the helicopter, allowing us to deliver all of the critical care skills we would as if on the helicopter.”

HELP Appeal chief executive Robert Bertram visited the airbase recently to see the new Critical Care Car in action. 

He said, “The HELP Appeal focuses on saving time and saving lives, including funding helipads at NHS hospitals, helipads at Air Ambulance bases and, in this case, a much-needed critical care car for Wiltshire Air Ambulance. The impact of this car to critically ill patients in the region is a game changer and we are delighted that, thanks to our supporters, we could help.”

Pictured above: Wiltshire Air Ambulance’s new Critical Care Car outside the charity’s airbase in Semington, with (pictured l-r) Wiltshire Air Ambulance Critical Care Doctor Rosie Furse, Wiltshire Air Ambulance Critical Care Paramedic Paul Rock, HELP Appeal Chief Executive Robert Bertram and Wiltshire Air Ambulance Chief Executive Barbara Gray.