The Thames Valley & Chiltern Air Ambulance Trust, launched in June 1999, provides a life saving service for the counties of Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire.
The Trust is a Registered Charity, and is not funded by central Government or the National Lottery and relies entirely on donations from the public to fund its annual running costs.
The air ambulance, a Eurocopter EC135, which has been aptly named BOB (to represent the three counties it covers), is based at RAF Benson, Oxfordshire. It carries a full range of life saving and medical equipment and is manned by a pilot and two fully qualified paramedics, who are often supported by a small team of doctors who volunteer their time. BOB has the capacity to transport one patient with the ability to treat and care in the air.
The helicopter is operated during daylight hours and is on call seven days per week. On average it is tasked three times per day to emergency situations involving road traffic collisions, equestrian and sporting accidents and the onset of acute illnesses such as heart attacks and strokes. Each mission costs approximately £2,000 in operational costs such as fuel and flying time.
The key benefit of the air ambulance is its ability to bring rapid medical intervention to a life threatening situation in order to give primary care to patients and, if required, airlift them to the most appropriate hospital within the “Golden Hour”.
As a small, flexible and highly manoeuvrable helicopter, BOB can reach areas that a ground vehicle could not access, such as remote rural areas, golf courses, railways and rivers.
To date BOB has answered over 12,500 emergency calls within Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire, saving many lives.
The Thames Valley & Chiltern Air Ambulance Trust needs your help to raise the necessary funds to maintain this life saving service.