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Air ambulance can fly at night thanks to new Boston helipad

By Boston Target  |  Posted: January 22, 2014

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A new helipad in Boston, made possible thanks to a donation, means the air ambulance can now offer crucial emergency support in the hours of darkness.

Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance has been given the exclusive use of a purpose-built helipad to help with airlifting patients in and out of the Pilgrim Hospital.

The concrete helipad, located at the Boston Aerodrome, is fitted with lights so that the helicopter can land and take off during the hours of darkness.

The lights were paid for by a donation of £6,000 from Lions Clubs across Lincolnshire. The use of the land for the helipad was donated by Boston Aeroclub and the club also constructed a roadway so that land ambulances can drive safely all the way up to the helipad for transfers.

A spokesman for United Lincolnshire NHS Trust which runs the Pilgrim Hospital said: "Pilgrim Hospital already has two helipads on site, however neither of these are fitted with lights. After speaking with the Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance Charitable Trust we understand that the East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) will continue to use the existing helipads at Pilgrim Hospital for daytime missions.

"The lit pad at the Boston Aerodrome will enable EMAS to extend its flying hours for emergency missions and air transfers in and out of the hospital during the hours of darkness."

The Lions wanted to help out as they have always been keen supporters of the Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance.

Lions spokesman Steve Chalder said: "We understand how vital it is for people in our isolated, rural communities to have fast access to emergency treatment.

"When we heard that the air ambulance had found a suitable landing site to serve the east of the county, we were delighted to step in with the financial support to make it happen."

Director of Boston Aeroclub Alastair Arundell didn't think twice about making space available for the air ambulance.

He said: "As soon as we heard that the air ambulance was looking for a suitable landing site with close proximity to the Pilgrim, we offered assistance straight away and we didn't want to waste any time making it happen.

"From sorting out the feasibility to making the helipad fully operational, it only took about two weeks. We called in a number of favours from local suppliers who donated their time for free and who let us have the materials at less than market cost. It was a real team effort and special thanks go to Breeden Aggregates of Boston for supplying the concrete and Smart Move Lettings who did most of the manual labour.

"It is for great causes like this that our local communities and businesses really pull together and we hope that we have done our bit to help save lives."

Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance Pilot, Captain Tim Taylor, said: "The site at Boston will be ideal for airlifting emergency cases to the Pilgrim Hospital or for transfers from the hospital to specialist major trauma centres across the country.

"Given its location it will also be a useful addition to the network of landing sites in case of bad weather or mechanical problems.

"We cannot thank the members of Lions and the Boston Aerodrome enough for their help and support in providing this vital facility."

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