Andy Kinder, a Clinical Team Leader with South East Coast Ambulance Service, has worked alongside our HEMS crews over the years and has shared his experiences with us, including the benefits of being able to work together to provide the highest possible level of care.
Working as a Clinical Team Leader with South East Coast Ambulance service (SECAmb), I have worked alongside HEMS crews numerous times over the years. I am always glad to see and hear the aircraft overhead when attending serious incidents.
Most land based ambulance crews only attend a relatively small number of serious trauma related incidents each year, so having a specialist unit such as Helicopter Emergency Service (HEMS) who attend these incidents on a much more frequent basis is hugely important. Not only are they hugely skilled in terms of delivering pre-hospital care to those with serious trauma or critical illnes, but they also bring the equipment and skills to the scene that land ambulances cannot.
The relationship between HEMS crews and ambulance crews is very good and occasionally, in the event of flying restrictions, the HEMS crew travel with the patient in a land ambulance to the hospital.
Having recently spent a day with the charity, it was interesting to see some of the issues they face first hand. Whilst they can fly in a straight line and don’t have to worry about traffic, it is much easier parking a land ambulance at the scene - often we assist in transporting the HEMS crew to the scene following them landing in the nearest and safest possible place.
The skills, experience and support the doctors, paramedics and pilots of the air ambulance team bring to the people of Kent, Surrey and Sussex are without a doubt hugely beneficial.