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Coronavirus: Yorkshire Air Ambulance grounded

Coronavirus: Yorkshire Air Ambulance grounded

Published by The Stray FM News Team at 2:22pm 3rd April 2020.

The two Yorkshire Air Ambulance helicopters will be grounded from today, as the service redeploys its paramedics to tackle the coronavirus outbreak.  

  • The YAA has grounded both its helicopters temporarily while staff are redeployed to tackle the virus outbreak. 
  • One of the helicopters was taken out of service on Tuesday, followed by the other today. 
  • They will still be used for pilot training until they are put back into service.  

On Tuesday, the service announced it was grounding one of its helicopters, and today said neither of them will now be available to attend call-outs.

In a statement, Yorkshire Air Ambulance and Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust said:

"Following on from the statement published earlier this week, and due to the intensifying situation surrounding Coronavirus and the urgent need for more highly skilled paramedics on the frontline, Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust (YAS) and the Yorkshire Air Ambulance (YAA) have had to take the extremely difficult decision to redeploy all of their Critical Care Paramedics onto frontline land ambulance duties.

"This comes just days after it was announced that the YAA’s Critical Care Consultants were to be redeployed back to their respective hospitals to focus on their primary roles in emergency medicine, anaesthesia and critical care across Yorkshire."

Yorkshire Air Ambulance
Both of the service's two helicopters have been grounded

Peter Sunderland, Chairman of the YAA said:

"As the NHS anticipates the Coronavirus crisis will intensify in the region over the next few weeks, demand on the new Nightingale Hospital in Harrogate will inevitably increase.  

"This means that patients will need transferring by road ambulance to the facility, and this will be supported by YAS’s specialist team of highly skilled Paramedics.  As our Critical Care Paramedics fall into this category, is it vitally important that their skills are utilised to provide as much support as possible during this crisis period.”

"We do wish to reinforce however, that this is just a temporary measure, and that the YAA crews and helicopters will be back flying as soon as the situation starts to safely subside.”

The YAA crew will complete their last shift from their Nostell Airbase near Wakfield today before being immediately redeployed to the YAS frontline.

The helicopters will still be used for pilot training in the meantime.