Cumbria’s new state-of-the-art air ambulance has landed at its new base in the county for the first time.
The Pride of Cumbria II landed at the Great North Air Ambulance Service’s base at Langwathby, near Penrith, at 1pm today.
“It is a more capable aircraft,” said Lee Salmon, critical care paramedic based at Langwathby.
“It will extend the hours and minutes we will be able to fly without needing more fuel.
“It gives us more flying time. At the moment we have to refuel after every mission, but we will now be able to go to the next job straight away.
“If we fly to Newcastle, for example, we have to get fuel at Newcastle airport before we can go to another job. We can take off immediately (with this new helicopter).”
Why is the helicopter needed?
The Pride of Cumbria helicopter, after 30 years’ service, is now coming to the end of its life and would need £500,000-worth of routine maintenance next year to keep flying.
The charity has bought a newer, more powerful Dauphin N3 helicopter, which it says will allow it to reach even more patients across the county.
It is expected that the Pride of Cumbria II will be operational by the start of next month.