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Wales set to have UK’s biggest air ambulance operation

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ec135-wales2-2xWALES is set to have the biggest air ambulance operation in the UK, as its service launches a fourth helicopter, it has been announced.

And the Wales Air Ambulance Charity will operate its additional aircraft – an EC135 T2e – from a new base in Cardiff – its first-ever in the capital.

The extra helicopter will enable the charity to accept more missions to help save lives across the country.

Since its launch in 2001, it has completed 24,000 flights across the country.  Its current fleet of three helicopters operates from bases in Llanelli, Caernarfon and Welshpool.

The Wales Air Ambulance is the official air ambulance operation in Wales, providing air cover for life-threatening, life-changing and time critical illness or injury.

Its medical crews, seconded from NHS Wales, provide pioneering treatments and work closely with all other official emergency agencies and hospitals in Wales.

During July it is being used for training.  It will become operational within the Wales Air Ambulance fleet in August.

The charity receives no government funding. It relies on public donations to keep the helicopters flying.  It needs to raise £6m annually to maintain its service.

Wales Air Ambulance Chief Executive Angela Hughes said:   “It’s always been our vision to expand our fleet so we can help more patients, and to have a base in Cardiff.  Although the city has a full transport infrastructure, its success as a commercial capital means air transfer to hospital can be the quickest way to convey patients.

“Subject to a successful six-month trial period, the fourth helicopter and its Cardiff satellite base will become a permanent new resource for the Wales Air Ambulance.

Wales Air Ambulance has been working with helicopter operator Babcock since its launch in 2001. Babcock provides the charity with custom-designed aircraft, experienced pilots and expert engineers.  The fourth aircraft will be based at Cardiff Heliport.

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New Quay RNLI lifeboat crew trains with lifeguards

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NEW QUAY lifeboat station hosted a special training evening with the lifeboat crew and Ceredigion’s RNLI lifeguards last week.

Pete Yates, one of New Quay RNLI’s inshore lifeboat helms, worked closely with Ceredigion lifeguard supervisor, Tirion Dowsett, to plan scenarios for the teams to practice working together in casualty care situations.

A large scale scenario included four casualties to be dealt with by the inshore lifeboat crew and two lifeguard teams on a nearby beach, whilst a third lifeguard team and lifeboat crew members dealt with a separate scenario at the lifeboat station.

Pete said: “It was a great evening of training. We had 9 lifeguards and 13 lifeboat crew in attendance.

“The main scenario included casualties suffering from hypothermia and propeller injuries. A second scenario involved a mechanic suffering head injuries in the forepeak of the all-weather lifeboat and requiring extraction on a stretcher.

“On completion of these scenarios we all gathered back at the station where one of our senior crew members sprung a great act at being a diabetic having a hypo, and being suitably angry and aggressive.”

Roger Couch, New Quay RNLI’s Lifeboat Operations Manager, added: “It was great for our lifeboat crew members to work with the lifeguards as it builds a deeper understanding of each other’s roles and encourages teamwork between us. This is of great benefit when dealing with real life casualty care situations.”

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Coastguard rescues dog stuck on cliffs

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LAST TUESDAY (Aug 27), New Quay RNLI’s inshore D-class lifeboat, Audrey LJ, was tasked by Milford Haven Coastguard to assist the Coastguard with a dog stuck on the cliffs near New Quay.

The volunteer crew launched the inshore lifeboat at 1.50pm with four crew members on board and made their way south down the coast.

Brett Stones, New Quay RNLI’s helm said: “We located the dog on the cliffs by Castell Bach, near Cwmtydu. We stood by while the Coastguard team caught the animal. The dog was unharmed and safe with the Coastguard so we were stood down.

“However, while returning to station we were then tasked to a small vessel with engine failure. We towed the stricken boat with three people on board back to New Quay. We rehoused the inshore lifeboat and it was ready for service by 2.40pm.”

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New maintenance Lorries cut carbon emissions

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The Ground Maintenance Team has purchased three new lorries to support ground maintenance services in Ceredigion.

The new lorries will move Ceredigion County Council’s Ground Maintenance Service’s equipment to and from the grounds that they look after. The lorries will also take cut grass away for composting. This provides the most efficient way of maintaining the areas that the team is responsible for.

Councillor Dafydd Edwards is the Cabinet member responsible for Highways and Environmental Services together with Housing. He said: “The new vehicles replace ones which had provided excellent service for almost 20 years. They are fitted with Euro 6 engines which are considerably more efficient and better for the environment.”

The Grounds Maintenance Team is also incrementally introducing electric-powered mowers, blowers, hedge cutters and strimmers into its fleet. This equipment is better for the environment, is easier to use and causes less noise and vibration.

The new lorries support Ceredigion County Council’s commitment to be a net-zero carbon council by 2030.

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