Milton Keynes, 27 November 2018: With the requirements for a high level of practicality, reliability and durability, the Octavia estate vRS was chosen by London’s Air Ambulance to support its trauma unit. The charity has also added two Kodiaq 4x4s to its fleet that feature a spacious interior and all-terrain drive capability.
ŠKODA has worked with London’s Air Ambulance for the past 12 years and the five new vehicles, which are on a three-year lease deal through Volkswagen Financial Services, will act as the ground support alongside the service’s two helicopters. The rapid response cars are called into action from sunset to 8am and in adverse weather conditions when the helicopter is unable to fly. The cars are based at The Royal London Hospital in East London and are driven by the service’s paramedics and navigated by an advanced trauma doctor; ready to respond quickly to an emergency.
The charity’s helicopter and cars are dispatched by the London Ambulance Service (LAS) Emergency Operational Centre, which monitors up to 5,000 medical 999 calls that are received each day. The service now uses a bespoke dispatch app that connects to the vehicle’s infotainment system to ensure that the medical team get to the patient as quickly and safely as possible.
London’s Air Ambulance Physician Response Unit (PRU) will also utilise the vehicles as it carries out its operations 12 hours a day, seven days a week. The 610-litre boot in the Octavia estate offers space to carry the advanced medication and equipment that would usually only be found in hospital, enabling the life-saving crew to treat people at the scene or at home.
Paul Smith, Driving Standards Manager at London’s Air Ambulance, commented: “We provide a vital service to the capital transporting an advanced trauma doctor and paramedic to seriously injured people. Whilst the helicopter can reach patients in a matter of minutes, our fleet of rapid response cars is also critical to serve the community and ensure that we are ready to respond instantly in all-weather conditions. The reliability and performance of ŠKODA continues to meet the demand of our service and we are pleased to renew the contract once again.”
Henry Williams, Head of Fleet for ŠKODA UK, added: “London’s Air Ambulance service places heavy demand on its vehicles and it’s fantastic to see that they continue to perform excellently under pressure. The Kodiaq will be a new addition to their fleet and its combination of high-performance, 4x4 capability and fuel economy will prove a resilient partner to the team.”