Helipad back in use for air ambulance

WNAA crew members with workers from Polycote UK including UK sales manager Neil Humphris

WNAA crew members with workers from Polycote UK including UK sales manager Neil Humphris

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The Warwickshire & Northamptonshire Air Ambulance (WNAA) crew was delighted to land on a professionally constructed helipad for the first time in two years.

For the past two years the life-saving helicopter has had to land on the grass nearby to their airbase at Coventry airport as the charity has not had the funds available to resurface their damaged helipad.

The WNAA landing on the new helipad for the first time

The WNAA landing on the new helipad for the first time

However, thanks to the generous help of two local businesses, the helipad has now been resurfaced and is back in use once more.

Rugby-based business Travis Perkins, a corporate partner of WNAA who have already raised more than £58,000 for the charity, provided the materials at cost price and Bedford-based firm Polycote UK provided the labour for free.

In total the two organisations saved WNAA approximately £9,000 – which is the equivalent to seven precious life-saving missions.

Neil Humphris, UK sales manager for Polycote UK, said: “We were delighted to help out Warwickshire & Northamptonshire Air Ambulance.

“The crew work tirelessly to save countless lives in our local community, so this was our way of giving something back.

“It was a pleasure to work in conjunction with Travis Perkins to provide a much needed facility for a rescue service that doesn’t get the recognition it needs.”

WNAA receives no Government or National Lottery funding and relies entirely on the generosity of the public and businesses such as Travis Perkins and Polycote UK to help fund their life-saving service and the resurfacing of the helipad will be of real benefit to the charity.

Jonathan Tuley, WNAA pilot, said: “It makes such a difference having a proper helipad to land on, especially with winter coming up.

“It’s vital that we have a nice surface that will stay firm despite the weather; unlike the conditions we have had to put up with where the grass quickly gets wet and muddy.

“As well as being far better to keep the helicopter on a flat surface when we’re not flying, it will make it far easier and quicker for us to complete our maintenance checks on.

“Another big advantage of our new helipad is that it is closer to the airbase.

“This makes it less time to get to the helicopter, quicker to get airborne and will provide the ultimate result – getting our life-saving pre-hospital care to the scene of an accident as fast and as safely as possible.”

Last year WNAA attended more than 1,000 rescue missions so yesterday’s (Monday) landing will be the first of many on the helipad.