A new Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance helipad could save lives by helping the service be used in Boston in the evening.
The life-saving charity has been given the use of a purpose built landing pad at Boston Aerodrome, on the Boardsides, to compliment one at Pilgrim Hospital which can only be used during the day.
Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance Pilot Captain Tim Taylor said the site, about 10 minutes drive from Pilgrim, will be ideal for airlifting emergency cases to the hospital or for transfers from the hospital to specialist major trauma centres across the country - particularly at night.
He said: “Given its location it will also be a useful addition to the network of landing sites in case of bad weather or mechanical problems.
“We cannot thank the members of Lions and the Boston Aerodrome enough for their help and support in providing this vital facility.
“As the Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance receives no financial support from the government, we rely on voluntary financial contributions and the generosity of people giving their time and skills to help us save lives.”
The concrete helipad is fitted with lights, paid for through a £6,000 donation fromLincolnshire Lions Clubs, and the aerodrome also constructed a roadway so that land ambulances can drive safely all the way up to the helipad for transfers.
The air ambulance only recently began flying at night after buying its latest helicopter specially equipped for the job.
The crew undertook training on night-flying operations for 18 months with both the chief pilot and deputy chief pilot gaining extensive experience.
The crew completed their final training and certification in late autumn, which including the use of night vision goggles (NVGs) .
Prior to night flying, the air ambulance was forced to go off line at 4pm from late October through to the end of February.
This development will allow the service to continue until 7pm and gain approximately 480 hours a year.