We do not work in isolation. Our aircraft and the crew on board form part of a network that includes many other agencies. From the moment of the 999 call, to the patient being handed over to hospital, GNAAS is one link in a life-saving chain.
We work predominantly with North East Ambulance Service, Yorkshire Ambulance Service and North West Ambulance Service. You can read about how each asks us to attend incidents here. When on scene, our team will liaise with their counterparts in the ambulance service to forumlate a plan of action, depending on the specific needs of the patient. The crews commonly work side-by-side throughout our entire area.
Fire and Rescue Services
One of the most important jobs the fire and rescue service bring to a scene is the extraction of a patient, often from the wreckage of a vehicle. They also bring the health and safety expertise to the scene, keeping an eye out for everyone else as they go about their work.
The air ambulance is often called into potentially dangerous environments such as motorways and crime scenes. The police provide essential support in making a scene safe for our crews to do their work. This may involve closing a road to allow us to land or it may be crowd management in a busy urban environment. They have their own job to do of course, and our crews regularly assist with subsequent investigations arising from certain incidents.
Mountain Rescue Teams
We work with Mountain Rescue Teams (MRTs) throughout our area but most commonly in Cumbria, where the fells of the Lake District attact walkers from around the world, and subsequently provide the backdrop for many rescues. The MRTs have vast experience working on the fells, often in difficult conditions. They play a significant and varied role in the rescues, from finding the patient in the first place, helping our crew gain access to the patient or transporting the patient to the aircraft.
UK Search and Rescue
The search and rescue aircraft have winching capabilities and, like MRTs, are most often involved in incidents in the fells where the patient is in an inaccessible area.
Our patients are not always taken to the nearest hospital, but the hospital most appropriate for their needs. Staff in the hospital are advised through our air desk that a patient is incoming. This means they know what to expect and have time to prepare to treat the patient's specific injuries. Our crew will 'hand-over' the patient with all their vital information, so that the transition is seamless.
Our aircraft carry blood on board which enables us to administer blood transfusions on scene. This development is facilitated by the charities Northumbria Blood Bikes and Blood Bikes Cumbria, which transport the blood every day from the Royal Victoria Infirmary to our two bases.