A NEW emergency car scheme is being trialled by the area’s air ambulance charity to provide cover when the helicopter service is not in use.
The air ambulance service, which runs the Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland and the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire air ambulances, has launched a pilot car service for emergencies during the night to ensure the best emergency medical intervention is available for seriously ill or injured people.
The air ambulances are currently only in operation during daylight hours.
The new initiative will allow doctors who fly with the ambulance to get to emergencies in the night by car.
The car scheme will run as a pilot initiative on a bi-monthly basis on Saturday nights but if it proves to be a valuable service, it may be extended.
Alex Toft, director of operations at the air ambulance service, said: “There’s a real lack of manpower in this sub speciality area of pre-hospital care so we’ve decided to take the initiative and support our land ambulance services further by providing our skilled doctors and paramedics.
“The scheme is also a fantastic opportunity for all paramedics and doctors to continue to hone their skills and experience in pre-hospital emergency care given the breadth of incidents they will now be exposed to.
“Our primary focus is to provide the highest level of care to patients.”
He added: “We want to be there for our community when they need us most, no matter what time of the day or night.”
East Midlands Immediate Care Scheme, known as Emics, also supports East Midlands Ambulance Service.
It is a charity which sends doctors to emergencies as volunteers outside their normal working hours. It was founded by Oakham GP Dr Tim Gray.
l The Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance is hosting a sponsored bike ride around Rutland Water on September 23.
Participants can take part in 17 and 23 mile courses around the reservoir to raise vital funds for the service. Entry costs £10 for adults and £5 for children under the age of 16 who must be accompanied by an adult. Car parking costs £3.50.
To enter visit www.dlraa.co.uk or call 08454 130999.