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  1. ITV Report

New Cornwall Air Ambulance helicopter takes to the skies after £2.5 million fundraising effort

  • Report by Grace Pascoe

A new helicopter has entered active service for Cornwall Air Ambulance after the charity surpassed its £2.5 million fundraising target.

The state-of-the-art machine will be used to support patients in need of critical care from the air.

Cornwall Air Ambulance says it will be able to carry more medical equipment than its predecessor and reach patients faster than before.

It can also fly straight from one emergency mission to another, without the need to refuel, which has not been possible previously.

It's taken two years of fundraising to get the new helicopter off the ground. Credit: ITV News

Cornwall now has a 21st century, state-of-the-art air ambulance helicopter, and the very best that the market has to offer. It's going to be saving lives in the county for the next 15 to 20 years.

– Paula Martin, Chief Executive of the Cornwall Air Ambulance
£2.5mil
The cost of Cornwall's new state-of-the art air ambulance.
This air ambulance will reach patients faster without having to refuel between emergencies. Credit: ITV News

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Somerset & Dorset, Wiltshire, and Great Western Western Air Ambulance services also remain in operation. Credit: ITV News

The helicopter has already clocked up several missions and joins the majority of the West Country's other air ambulance charities in active service at this unique time.

Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance, as well as the Wiltshire and Great Western Air Ambulance services continue to reach emergencies but with extra safety measures in place.

Devon Air Ambulance, however, has temporarily grounded its fleet of helicopters during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Standing down our aircraft was a very hard decision for us to make but one we've had to take in order to protect all of our crew, including pilots who can't wear the necessary level of PPE whilst flying the aircraft.

– Helena Holt, Devon Air Ambulance
Devon Air Ambulance has grounded its fleet during the pandemic. Credit: ITV News