Cambs charity Magpas welcomes its new air ambulance

The new Magpas Helicopter, pilot Richard Eastwood, Dr Nick Foster, Phil Almond, crew member Steve Hu

The new Magpas Helicopter, pilot Richard Eastwood, Dr Nick Foster, Phil Almond, crew member Steve Hunwicks - Credit: Archant

MAGPAS’ new bright orange air ambulance, which is capable of night-time flying, touched down in Cambridgeshire this week.

The air ambulance, a MD Explorer 902, was delivered on August 7 and flew its first mission for the emergency medical charity a day later.

Daryl Brown, Magpas chief executive, said they wanted the helicopter to stand out from others across the country, but were not able to give the aircraft a fluorescent paint job to match the jumpsuits as the colour is not recognised by the Civil Aviation Authority.

He said: “This is great news for Magpas and we are delighted we have got a night-capable helicopter. It’s due to our supporters, who have kept us going through from putting GPs in cars to this. It’s amazing what we have been able to achieve because of them.

“It’s exciting for East Anglia which now has some of the best coverage for pre-hospital emergency care in the country with what we, the East Anglian Air Ambulance, and the Beds and Herts Air Ambulance are doing.

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“As the nights draw in, we will be operating our helicopter, training our crews to cover the crucial rush hour periods when it gets dark and more accidents happens, especially when the clocks go back.”

Mr Brown added: “Our plan is for next year to provide cover 24/7 with the helicopter which we should be able to do with the latest recruits we are training now.”

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Helimedix doctor Nick Foster said: “We are only able to do this because of our supporters, who have increased donations from £1.8million last year to £2.5m this year. We are extremely grateful for the support they give us.

“Next year we are looking to provide 24/7 cover which means taking on more pilots so we will have to dig deep to reach that point.”

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