New helicopter takes to the skies

Managing Director Henke Schaeken of Medical Aviation Services handing the helicopter over to Air Ambulance Operations Manager John Tickner

The Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulances have taken delivery of their new helicopter.

The state of the art MD 902 Explorer, which is fitted with the latest medical and electronic mapping equipment, is based at Dunsfold on the Surrey/Sussex borders. Together with its sister helicopter based at Marsden in Kent it will provide a Helicopter Emergency Medical Service to the people of Kent, Surrey and Sussex.

A new Air Ambulance service for Surrey and Sussex was launched last June with a Bolkow helicopter, following successful appeals in those counties.

Operations manager John Tickner said, "It has always been our intention to upgrade the Bolkow at Dunsfold to an Explorer. There are very few Explorers available and we are delighted to have finally taken delivery. The unique no tail rotor design, higher payload and more cabin space and of course its speed make it a much better aircraft for Air Ambulance work."

The Helicopter Emergency Medical Services augment the existing emergency medical services in the counties that they serve. The helicopter based at Dunsfold has answered over 200 medical emergencies since the base was opened and the Kent helicopter answered over 550 missions last year.

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