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Coronavirus: One Yorkshire Air Ambulance helicopter back in the air from tomorrow

Coronavirus: One Yorkshire Air Ambulance helicopter back in the air from tomorrow

Published by Harry Long at 2:25pm 24th April 2020.

One of the two Yorkshire Air Ambulance helicopters will return to service from tomorrow.  

  • One of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance's helicopters will be returning to service tomorrow.  
  • They were both grounded earlier this month as parademics were redeployed to tackle the virus outbreak.
  • But the new NHS Nightingale hospital in Harrogate has not been needed yet, meaning the crew can return to their normal duties.  

Both helicopters were grounded earlier this month, as paramedics from the service were redeployed to tackle the virus outbreak.

The announcement comes as the NHS in the region has confirmed that patients will not be sent to the new Nightingale facility in Harrogate, which was launched earlier this week, for the time being. 

Existing hospitals continue to manage the surge in coronavirus cases within the current intensive care capacity, meaning the YAA crew can return to their usual duties.

Yorkshire Air Ambulance
Yorkshire Air Ambulance

Peter Sunderland, Chairman of the YAA, said:

“Obviously we are delighted to be able to start operating one of our helicopters again and have our crew available to respond to emergency 999 calls.  The team has worked at very short notice to make the necessary preparations to recommence operations from tomorrow, and I would like to thank them for their hard work and dedication in ensuring we’re ready to resume our vital work.”

The YAA will be operating one of their two helicopters from their Nostell Airbase near Wakefield, whilst the second helicopter undergoes its scheduled mandatory annual service.  

Nick Smith, Executive Director of Operations at Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust, said:

“We are extremely grateful to our partners at YAA for their understanding in recent weeks and their support for the recall of our paramedics to core duties on the ground.  This has allowed us to build our resilience and make all the necessary preparations for the newly launched Nightingale Hospital should we be required to convey patients to this facility.”