Since 2015, we have had our helicopter (G-TVAL) and our Emergency Response Vehicles (ERV). All vehicles are operational at the same time, enabling us to reach more people in need.

Unlike an average land ambulance, the helicopter and the ERVs are manned by a paramedic and doctor team. The aircraft and ERVs are also fitted with the latest advanced medical equipment.

Speed

Speed is imperative for survival with major trauma incidents, and we can be anywhere in Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire within 15 minutes. From our base at RAF Benson in South Oxfordshire, the helicopter can quickly be tasked to incidents across the Thames Valley.

The helicopter, an Airbus H135, can reach speeds of 160mph and can land in an area the size of just two tennis courts.

The ERVs are also useful in the race against time. The ERVs start each day at RAF Benson, before roaming around areas where the helicopter struggles to gain quick access – namely built up towns and cities.

Night-flying

All our vehicles are operational during the day, from 07:00 to 19:00. But our helicopter is night capable, allowing longer flying hours, until 02:00.

The aircraft is fully equipped and optimised for night operations, with the crew using the latest night-vision googles costing £25,000 each.

We work in partnership with Hampshire & Isle of Wight Air Ambulance (HIOWAA) to provide our life-saving service from 19:00 to 02:00 every day. Our charities take it in turn to cover the extra night-service for the whole of the South Central region and the Isle of Wight.

This means the crews can bring their life-saving care to the most seriously ill or injured people by night as well as by day.