Helicopter for Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance

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A charity air ambulance service has received a new helicopter to be used for 24-hour emergency response operations from late summer.

Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance has announced the arrival of a newer version of the MD902 Explorer aircraft that will replace its current helicopter based at Redhill.

Adrian Bell, Chief Executive of the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance, said: “We believe that there is a real and identifiable need for the skills of a specialist medical team during the night as well as through the day.”

The charity’s specialist doctor and paramedic crews have been delivering a nighttime medical service using an emergency response car.

He added: “This has been a very useful exercise in helping us to prepare for a 24-hour operation and has allowed us to learn more about the technicalities and logistics of operating at night without the incumbencies of aviation issues.”

The ambulance service expects to replace its other helicopter based at Marden with a night-flying capable aircraft within the next 18 months.

The charity costs £5m annually to run, and relies mostly on public donations.