News Stories for October 2014

New Aircrew Take To The Skies

For six members of staff from West Midlands Ambulance Service, their jobs are really set to take off for the next three years. 

They have just qualified as aircrew paramedics who will...

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New Aircrew Take To The Skies

For six members of staff from West Midlands Ambulance Service, their jobs are really set to take off for the next three years. 

They have just qualified as aircrew paramedics who will fly on the Midlands Air Ambulance aircraft based in Staffordshire and Worcestershire.  Although flying from Tattenhill and Strensham, their role could, and almost certainly will take them almost anywhere in the Midlands or even further afield.

The six were picked from the many staff who applied for the role.  They finished a two week HEMS (helicopter emergency medical service) technical crew member training course last week. 

During the course, which took place at new education visitor centre at Strensham Airbase just off the M5 motorway, each of them had to get to grips with navigation; meteorology; safety around the aircraft; basic airmanship; and getting familiar with the equipment used on the aircraft which is smaller and a very different environment to use in. 

WMAS Air Operations Manager, Becky Tinsley, said: “Each of the six will be seconded for three years to work part time on the Midlands Air Ambulance aircraft based at Strensham and Tattenhill.  The rest of the time they will continue in their main roles. 

“During the course, the candidates not only had to complete extensive ground based training, they had to undertake three flights:
• Navigation – this is quite tough in itself as some people get air sick;
• Working in the air – not everyone handles the challenges of working in a very confined space whilst flying. It is certainly quite different to being in the back of an ambulance;
• Final assessment – this is where they have to put all of their learning into practice and is a pass/fail test.

“Understandably, we set the bar very high so massive congratulations to each of them in getting through a very tough course.  I am looking forward to seeing them develop into the role over the coming weeks and months.” 

Assistant Chief Ambulance Officer, Steve Wheaton, who himself used to be an aircrew paramedic, added: “Congratulations to each of them on getting through the selection and training programmes, which is no easy task.

“This is an exciting time where they get a chance to use their new skills in a really exciting environment.  Whilst they have passed their course, I know from personal experience that the learning starts here, and wish them all the very best.”

Hanna Sebright, Chief Executive of Midlands Air Ambulance Charity said: “The Charity would like to welcome on board the new Paramedics to the Aircrew of Midlands Air Ambulance. The Charity has been working in partnership with WMAS for 23 years and is extremely proud that in that time we have attended over 44,000 incidents saving countless lives."

Pictured from left: Mike Smyth (Clinical Department at HQ), Steve Mason (Warwick), Dave Bentley (HART in Oldbury), Kelly Bennett (Erdington, Birmingham), Laura Rogers (HART) and Pete Edwards (Willenhall, Black Country).

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Shropshire Businesses Raise £10,000 for MAAC!

The Midlands Air Ambulance Charity received an incredible donation of over £10,000 from a recent black-tie event organised by members of the Shropshire Business Charity Group.

A...

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Shropshire Businesses Raise £10,000 for MAAC!

The Midlands Air Ambulance Charity received an incredible donation of over £10,000 from a recent black-tie event organised by members of the Shropshire Business Charity Group.

A prestigious Charity Gala Ball was staged at Greenhous Meadow, home of the Shrewsbury Town Football Club and saw more than 200 guests attend for a memorable evening of live music and entertainment, a raffle and some amazing prizes – including the use of an F-Type Jaguar sports car for the weekend!

Nick Jones, one of the organisers of the event – which was sponsored by Berry’s Surveyors and Nick Jones Wealth Management – said: “The Midlands Air Ambulance Charity carries out such essential work yet receives no Government funding at all, so it is good to see the county’s business community and guests getting together to enjoy this gala evening and at the same time raise such a large amount for this very worthwhile charity.”

Maria Jones, the charity’s fundraising manager for Shropshire added: “It was a fantastic event and we’re delighted to receive such a tremendous donation.

“The amount raised is enough to fund four of our live saving air ambulance missions so we really can’t state enough how grateful we are to everyone who was involved for such wonderful support.”

Maria is pictured receiving the donation of £10,131 from members of the Shropshire Business Charity Group, along with members of the aircrew at the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity’s Cosford airbase.

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Augmented Reality Becomes A Reality

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Augmented Reality Becomes A Reality

Midlands Air Ambulance Charity has expanded its online presence and is the first air ambulance service in the world to launch a mobile Application containing Augmented Reality.

 

Developed in partnership with Bronze Software Labs, the App, named A.I.R. Ambulance, (Augmented Interactive Ambulance), is a first of its kind for the air ambulance community. It gives users the chance to see the service’s distinctive red helicopters in augmented reality when hovering their smartphone over any British bank note or the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity logo. This technology has been employed very successfully by other Bronze Labs clients for a wide variety of purposes and it will undoubtedly make a significant impact for the charity.

 

Jason Levy, fundraising and marketing director for Midlands Air Ambulance Charity, says: “At Midlands Air Ambulance we pride ourselves on being innovators in raising awareness of the vital work of our air ambulances, and believe the cutting edge technology used within the new App will allow users to experience our world, without the actual need for the service. We are delighted to have worked with Bronze and by what they have accomplished with the new App. We believe it will raise further awareness online of the life saving work of our air ambulance.

 

“A.I.R. Ambulance not only gives users on both Apple and Android devices the ability to learn more about our vital life saving service, but they can also see and hear our augmented reality helicopter take flight, thanks to the incredibly advanced technology.”

 

In deciding not to charge users for this App, despite it containing the augmented reality element, Midlands Air Ambulance is hoping the App users will donate to the charity, as it costs £2,500 every time it undertakes a mission, which is entirely funded by the general public and local businesses.

 

For the donation element of the App, Midlands Air Ambulance Charity has partnered with Barclays Pingit. Barclays Pingit is a smartphone app-based payments service which allows users to make payments quickly, easily and securely without having to input any account details. Using Barclays Pingit to collect donations provides Midlands Air Ambulance with an innovative alternative to cash, cheques and SMS, and allows them to claim Gift Aid as part of an easy donation process.

 

Jason adds: “By using the PingIt icon in the App it is a very simple, easy and quick way to donate to our service. As we are wholly reliant on public and local businesses’ generosity, we hope the App will prove to be another vital income stream for our great cause.”

 

Richard Howells, director of Bronze Software Labs, comments: “Midlands Air Ambulance is a charity I am very passionate about as you never know when you need to rely on the service. I therefore wanted to help raise awareness of, and funds for, the charity. The whole team at Bronze has been really excited about working on A.I.R. Ambulance - after all it’s not every day you get to fly a helicopter around your office!

 

“The end result is something we’re extremely proud of as it’s at the very forefront of App technology. There are many business applications for this type of technology and we are delighted to have been able to showcase our work and support our local air ambulance simultaneously.”

 

To download the App, visit The App Store or Google Play.

 

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A Christmas Treat For Young Airlift Heroes

Youngsters airlifted by Midlands Air Ambulance Charity in the last three years are being invited to the charity’s annual Young Airlift Heroes Christmas Party this December, and there is...

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A Christmas Treat For Young Airlift Heroes

Youngsters airlifted by Midlands Air Ambulance Charity in the last three years are being invited to the charity’s annual Young Airlift Heroes Christmas Party this December, and there is plenty of festive fun in store!

The event will take place at the Strensham airbase, Worcestershire on Sunday 14th December 2014 to recognise the bravery of the children who have needed to rely on the Midlands Air Ambulance.

Anyone under the age of 16 who has benefited from the charity’s life saving service will be able to attend, and Jason Levy, fundraising and marketing director for Midlands Air Ambulance Charity noted that they need only contact the charity's Stourbridge headquarters to register an interest in taking part.

“This is an annual event we really look forward to and one that is always very popular,” Jason said. “We're all looking forward to hearing from our all of our invited guests soon as to whether they can attend, and to welcoming them on 14th December.

"Thanks to the fantastic work they do each year, the aircrews for Midlands Air Ambulance are often hailed as heroes but even they themselves admit that the bigger heroes are the young people they come into contact with on missions.

"Each year around 180 young people under the age of 16 are in need of emergency airlift services from Midlands Air Ambulance and their sheer bravery never ceases to amaze us.”

The special event, which takes place at Strensham airbase at the Junction 8 northbound services of the M5, will feature festive games and a chance to be reunited with the Midlands Air Ambulance aircrew.  Refreshments will also be on offer, while there will also be a visit from Father Christmas.

Jason added: "The Young Airlift Heroes Party is a great way for us to recognise that as a charity but it also gives all of those youngsters a chance to come face to face again with the people who helped rescue them, this time in far happier circumstances and at a special time of year.”

Youngsters interested in attending can get in touch with the charity by emailing info@midlandsairambulance.com or telephoning the office on 0800 8 40 20 40 for more details.

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Communications Update

Unfortunately we have been experiencing problems with our telephone system today. We have been informed that the system will be back up and running at 8.30am tomorrow morning (Friday 10th...

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Communications Update

Unfortunately we have been experiencing problems with our telephone system today. We have been informed that the system will be back up and running at 8.30am tomorrow morning (Friday 10th October).

Apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused.

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Go Red For MAAC!

To demonstrate its support of the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity, the University of Birmingham will be turning the face of the iconic clock tower (Old Joe)...

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Go Red For MAAC!

To demonstrate its support of the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity, the University of Birmingham will be turning the face of the iconic clock tower (Old Joe) red during the hours of darkness for between 6th and 10th October 2014.

Midlands Air Ambulance Charity’s famous red helicopters are often seen across the skies of Birmingham as they undertake numerous life saving missions each day. But what’s not widely known is that the emergency pre-hospital service is entirely funded by the generosity of the general public, which is why the University of Birmingham, and one of the charity’s corporate partners, Capgemini*, are keen to help raise awareness of the charity among the students and wider population of Birmingham.

While the clock, known on campus as ‘Old Joe’, turns red, the team at Midlands Air Ambulance Charity is also encouraging the public to take part in the #GoRed campaign during the week by getting involved on social media.

Jason Levy, fundraising and marketing director for Midlands Air Ambulance Charity, explains: “We’re encouraging everyone in the Midlands to help raise awareness of the charitable status of our vital life saving charity by wearing red lipstick one day during Go Red week, men can take part too, or if they’re not so daring perhaps they can wear a red t-shirt or scarf instead!

“We’d like them to highlight their support by taking a selfie and upload it to either Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #GoRed, and if they can donate to our great cause, we’d be extremely grateful.”

To join Old Joe and Go Red between 6th and 10th October, just take a selfie while wearing red lipstick, upload it to Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #GoRed, and donate to Midlands Air Ambulance Charity by texting MAAC00 £2 to 70070.

To find out more about the #GoRed campaign find Midlands Air Ambulance on Facebook and Twitter.

*Capgemini is an implementation-focused management consulting and Information Technology services group, which introduced the University of Birmingham to Midlands Air Ambulance Charity, and fully supports the GoRed campaign.

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