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The pilot’s story - Joe Moore

My name is Joe Moore and I’m a Senior Line Pilot for the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance and also work for the Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance. So we cover five counties and lots of people and I get to go to lots of places very quickly. My job is to get the crew to the scene, that’s the doctor and the paramedic, and then quite often to take the crew plus patient to hospital.

The best thing about my role is that I get to do all the things that normal helicopter pilots can’t legally do. So, I get to close motorways; I know it’s not much fun for the poor trapped motorists but sometimes it’s necessary. I can also land in city centres that’s usually not allowed, but actually, and I know it sounds cheesy, the best part is the teamwork because we all look after each other.

The quicker we can get patients to hospital the better it is for them. The traditional model is that you call 999 and an ambulance arrives and they take you as quickly as possible to hospital. What we’re doing most of the time is taking the hospital to the patient so already we’re winning by taking an emergency doctor to the scene.

The next part is getting them to that extra treatment in hospital as quickly as we can. So every minute we can shave off the time spent getting them into hospital is better for them.

The hospital we choose to take a patient to depends on the specialities of the hospital so for the most seriously injured we choose a major trauma centre. What also comes into it is how quick and easy it is to get them into the hospital, so can we just do a trolley push from the helicopter straight into the building, would we need another ambulance to get them to the building and is there a land ambulance available for that. Finally it also depends on whether we’ve got another job coming up and how quickly we can turnaround at a particular hospital. The most important factor is what’s best for the patient, but other factors can come into it.

The current helipad at the Northern General Hospital has been there for a long time and is fine as it however it’s a bit like roads that have been there a long time, they can be improved. If we could take patients straight into the hospital that would be good in terms of saving time and also remove the worry of whether there’s a land ambulance crew available for the transfer. Also from a security point of view, as the current pad is away from the hospital, I have to stay with the helicopter all the time – and in the middle of winter that can be really cold so I get to freeze!

The new heIipad would make a huge difference, we’d be landing right outside the A&E entrance so we could get patients into ‘resus’ much quicker, we wouldn’t have to rely on an ambulance to move them with all the possible complications this can bring. Overall it would be so much better for the patient,,,and with new close helipad, I might be able to leave the helicopter to get a cup of coffee!

I hope that people will support this appeal, it would be great to offer the people of Sheffield and the surrounding areas, the best possible chance should they be involved in an accident. By supporting this, you will help us to get people into hospital that much quicker.

Please support the Sheffield Helipad Appeal.

Please support our appeal to build a new helipad at the Northern General Hospital.
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