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Emergency services over enthusiastic?

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Emergency services over enthusiastic?

Old 19th Feb 2021, 10:14
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Emergency services over enthusiastic?

I saw on the BBC News website this morning that TWO air ambulances attended for a single 9 year old boy in critical condition in a domestic situation.

Link to article here

Does anyone know why two helis were called?

Perhaps it is like when a microlight makes a forced landing and enough Fire/Police/Ambulances attend for a B747 sized accident.

Rans6..............
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Old 19th Feb 2021, 10:26
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A nine-year-old died. And you're complaining about how many helicopters were sent?
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Old 19th Feb 2021, 10:37
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Originally Posted by rans6andrew View Post
I saw on the BBC News website this morning that TWO air ambulances attended for a single 9 year old boy in critical condition in a domestic situation.

Link to article here

Does anyone know why two helis were called?

Perhaps it is like when a microlight makes a forced landing and enough Fire/Police/Ambulances attend for a B747 sized accident.

Rans6..............
Haven't a clue as to why two were called, possibly a crossed lines communication error, nobody is immune from such after all. However, the key point is that the situation was considered by the professionals to warrant an Air Ambulance in the first place and which duly arrived. Had one not been called, only then you would have had grounds to be critical.

As for a micro light force landing, same as a glider making a field landing, which can also produce the same reaction, let's be fair here.

For the general public, most of whom are unaware as to why an aircraft which should be flying but which suddenly appears safely on the ground, the obvious reason would be a "crash " so their first reaction is to contact the emergency services.....which is decidedly preferable to just ignoring the event .

Last edited by Krystal n chips; 19th Feb 2021 at 10:48.
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Old 19th Feb 2021, 10:45
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Originally Posted by Hokulea View Post
A nine-year-old died. And you're complaining about how many helicopters were sent?
I think the point being made is that 2 helicopters for one casualty is excessive, especially as the UK isn't exactly overrun with air ambulances and they are all funded through charitable donations.

The police also appear to go into overdrive when attending incidents. Last January, right outside our front door an elderly gentleman lost control of his car and demolished a telegraph pole. We live in a very small cul de sac. 2 police cars arrived in minutes (one was quite sufficient) along with a brace of ambulances - understandable given there 2 occupants, though as it turned out only one very minor cut, amazing as the airbags were switched off - complete madness!
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Old 19th Feb 2021, 10:55
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Originally Posted by ATNotts View Post
I think the point being made is that 2 helicopters for one casualty is excessive, especially as the UK isn't exactly overrun with air ambulances and they are all funded through charitable donations.

The police also appear to go into overdrive when attending incidents. Last January, right outside our front door an elderly gentleman lost control of his car and demolished a telegraph pole. We live in a very small cul de sac. 2 police cars arrived in minutes (one was quite sufficient) along with a brace of ambulances - understandable given there 2 occupants, though as it turned out only one very minor cut, amazing as the airbags were switched off - complete madness!
Sorry but you can't blame the emergency services for their reactions. You only have to watch any programme about them and it's obvious many who, with the very best intentions, call 999 can't articulate the gravity of why they 've called......which is not a criticism before somebody suggests such, hence the emergency services have to react accordingly based on their professional experience.
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Old 19th Feb 2021, 10:55
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I was in the vicinity when Charles Church was killed in a Spitfire crash near Blackbushe (I'd been watching him doing aerobatics a few minutes earlier); although its thirty years ago, I recall quite a number of ambulances and fire engines heading west on the A30 at Blackwater (I was wondering what they were all for - found out next morning) which were almost certainly far more than needed but they are unlikely to know precise requirements until on scene, even with a multiple car crash - better safe than sorry.

In the case of the air ambulance, maybe they weren't immediately sure about numbers of casualties - the report is vague as to circumstances at present.
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Old 19th Feb 2021, 11:59
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Does anyone know why two helis were called?
Duff question. The correct question to be asked here is "Why does the government NOT pay for services such as these?" The 2 helicopters, G-OMAA and G-RMAA are operated by the Midlands Air Ambulance, which is a charity. This is common throughout the UK, with a heavy reliance on charities running these services.
Re the number of police/fire vehicles attending an incident, they all operate to pre-planned response levels. I asked my then fireman brother about this some years ago and he explained the concept.
I suppose the same goes for the police. If they get a report that "someone has been attacked" for example, they don't know until someone arrives on scene whether this refers to a pair of drunks having a straightener in the High Street or a full blown attack.
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Old 19th Feb 2021, 12:03
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Many years ago we had a washing machine that went up in flames. Called the fire brigade and they sent 2 appliances. I apologised to the senior officer, regretting that they had to send 2 appliances to a pretty small incident. He replied that they always send 2 (+) - and that he can always send one back, which he did. Made sense to me.
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Old 19th Feb 2021, 12:46
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It seems to be a perfectly reasonable question from the OP that does does not need various instant experts to respond to quite so aggresively. This situation occurs frequently and surely the sub-text question should be "can an emergency response be instituted more accurately in order to save expense and the resources for other potential simultanous emergencies?"

2 s
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Old 19th Feb 2021, 12:50
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Maybe the second heli responded owing to the expertise of the medical staff on board.

The first doc requested assistance? Quickest way to get the second doc there was helicopter?

Second chopper returning to base and offered to assist?

​​​​​​It won't have been for the fun of it.
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Old 19th Feb 2021, 12:58
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Originally Posted by 2 sheds View Post
It seems to be a perfectly reasonable question from the OP that does does not need various instant experts to respond to quite so aggresively. This situation occurs frequently and surely the sub-text question should be "can an emergency response be instituted more accurately in order to save expense and the resources for other potential simultanous emergencies?"

2 s
Which "instant experts " did you have in mind here ?...only the responses so far have simply offered feasible answers based on widely known evidence

However, I'm sure the emergency services would be interested in your proposal....after all, it's not as if they aren't constantly evolving and developing their responses.


Last edited by Krystal n chips; 19th Feb 2021 at 13:19.
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Old 19th Feb 2021, 12:58
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Agree with 2 sheds. The OP was not complaining, merely asking for information.

I suspect that a call went out for an Air Ambulance and one was not sure if they could get through owing to weather, or something, so another went as well. Or the accident required a paramedic with particular skills who was not in the first heli.

Quite why some threads descend into slagging people off might be a consequence of the Covid lockdown - we are all getting a bit fed up maybe, but let's not take it out on each other.

But a valid question from the OP.

A while ago I was caught in an M5 traffic jam; the whole motorway down to one lane with a long delay. As I passed the restriction, I was amazed to see that the cause was a farmer who had lost a hay bale off his trailer !! Everything was on the hard shoulder, and no hard parts on the carriageway or any road forensics required, yet they closed the M5 down to one lane.
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Old 19th Feb 2021, 19:32
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Originally Posted by 2 sheds View Post
It seems to be a perfectly reasonable question from the OP that does does not need various instant experts to respond to quite so aggresively. This situation occurs frequently and surely the sub-text question should be "can an emergency response be instituted more accurately in order to save expense and the resources for other potential simultanous emergencies?"

2 s
I think you are being a tad over sensitive (on someone else's behalf). I am guessing I would be one of those to whom you refer. Was it the part about why the government aren't funding these Helimed operations that irked? If so, I make no apology. It has been something that has annoyed me for a long time. The government seems perfectly happy to pay good money to a private operator to manage the Coastguard's helicopter operations. Why not do something similar with those services that have to rely on charity in order to operate?

As for the "sub-text" question: How does that work? Surely if an emergency is called in on 999, there must be a pre-planned (and presumably rehearsed) action plan, detailing type and number of assets to be deployed based on whatever limited data is available to the call handler. The alternative would be for a single police officer to be dispatched to the scene, from where he could call in his view of the situation with more accurate guesses at numbers of casualties, circumstances etc from which exactly the right number and skill sets could be determined and allocated.

Re the point raised by Blues&twos about 2 helicopters: They are based at locations roughly equidistant from the casualty scene. G-OMM is based on the M5 at Strensham services and G-RMAA is based at RAF Cosford. Tracking shows they both lifted off at approx the same time (ca 14:33). Perhaps that shows the effects of a pre-planned response? I don't know. Both had been out earlier in the day but were back on the ground prior to the dispatch. It seems the Strensham crew arrived on scene first, with the Cosford lot arriving 5 or 6 minutes later. It seems odd but the Cosford crew travelled later from Droitwich to Worcester Hospital and eventually back to Cosford. I say "odd" because Worcester Hospital is along the route back to base for the Strensham but 180 degrees the wrong way for Droitwich to Cosford. I am sure there would be a good reason for these arrangements, possibly the difference in on board expertise as suggested by Blues& twos?
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Old 19th Feb 2021, 19:43
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Why do people always breakdown on the edge of a roundabout or at the traffic lights it's a complete mystery to me!!
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Old 19th Feb 2021, 20:08
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Ah, miscommunication can be responsible in some cases. When an engineer called the tower to report a "fire on a Tucano aircraft", he was surprised to see the roads to the airfield come alive with what seemed like the entire county's resources converging on the site. Apparently they were responding to an incident "involving two cargo aircraft"...
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Old 19th Feb 2021, 21:35
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Helimed's

I believe from several colleagues that they prefer to be charitable organisations as it removes them from the bureaucracy and politics that being a governmental institution brings. This allows them the freedoms to operate purely as a medical emergency service without any interventions.

And yes, the OP's post was perfectly reasonable without all the aggressive responses.

With such an expensive asset, you would expect good co-ordination.
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Old 19th Feb 2021, 21:47
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Thanks to all of you who thought some replies were a bit aggressive, I am fairly thick skinned and have not been offended.

We support three of the Air Ambulances in the UK, they are always pleading poverty. Air Ambulances cost an arm and a leg to operate and it just struck me this morning, that a little more organisation might make the donations go a bit further.

Rans6........
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Old 20th Feb 2021, 07:19
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2 Aircraft / 1 Patient, not totally unusual.

I’ve previously done a few years of Remote Area Aeromedical flying using Kingair aircraft operating out of 3 different bases, 2 of which were small remote towns with basic hospitals, one out of the nearest and only “major city” (I use that term loosely) which had the better Hospital, staffing and equipment.

We would often get a callout for one Patient but use two aircraft. The nearest aircraft would be scrambled with Flight Nurse, Dr and standard medical equipment on the basis that we could be on-scene around 90 minutes earlier than the Capitol city aircraft. First aid could be provided and Patient stabilised whilst the other aircraft was en-route with specialist Medical Team and equipment tailored to the call-out. Specialised equipment & personnel weren’t part of our standard load for weight and budget reasons and took time to put together and launch. That delay could matter.

As an anecdote, we arrived to an emergency call-out one day for a seriously premature Baby and rushed into the Clinic carrying the humidi-crib only to find that outback ingenuity had already saved the day (and the Baby). The on-site Nurse had grabbed a cardboard box around the size of 2 shoe boxes, punched multiple holes in each end with a pen, lined it with a small blanket, placed Bubs in there and wrapped glad-wrap (cling film) over the top, then placed a desk lamp shining in. The Doc took a quick look, measured the temp (which was perfect) and said “leave him there, its perfect” and then tended to Mum. I guess necessity is the Mother of invention.
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Old 20th Feb 2021, 08:07
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I was overtaken by a very rapid paramedic Skoda estate car on the A12. Blue lights and horns. A couple of miles further on the driver was casually strolling across the lawn towards an old people's home. A bit reluctant to criticise the NHS but I do sometimes wonder if the son et lumiere bit is necessary.
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Old 20th Feb 2021, 08:42
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In short, you don't know. You don't know where he's come from or where he's going. The one in the car makes the assessment. Reducing the transit time massively by driving on blues and twos then have a few moments to compose yourself before starting to deal with who knows what is a perfectly rational way to act.
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