EMAS denies helicopter was sent because ‘no ambulances available’

Air ambulance landing in Carlton
Air ambulance landing in Carlton

SPECULATION that an air ambulance was called to transport a patient because a road ambulance was not available has been refuted by East Midlands Ambulance Service.

Residents watched on as the emergency helicopter landed on the field behind Carlton Civic Centre, off Long Lane, Carlton on Friday 5th October.

It is believed the patient had fallen from a ladder and suffered a suspected broken arm.

And rumours soon began to spread that the helicopter had been sent as a replacement for a regular road ambulance.

Bassetlaw MP John Mann said on his Twitter account on Friday: “No ambulances available in Bassetlaw earlier today air ambulance has had to be called out #saveourNHS”.

Eye witness David Irvine contacted us with his account of what happened.

“I live very near the school in Long Lane and after several attempts to land in those playing fields it eventually landed in the field behind the village hall,” he said.

It is thought the injured man lived in a nearby street.

Mr Irvine said several residents helped get the injured man on board the chopper.

It is thought he was then flown to hospital in Sheffield, and the helicopter was seen flying back over Carlton around three hours later.

“We were told the reason the helicopter was used was because an ambulance was not available,” said Mr Irvine.

“If this is how bad things are now, what is going to be the situation when the East Midlands Ambulance Service is re-organised?”

A spokesperson for EMAS said: “We respond the air ambulance to a wide range of emergency incident types and do not keep it in reserve for only life-threatening calls.”

“An ambulance was responded to this incident but stood down because the patient’s condition indicated that transport by air was in his best interests.”

At Tuesday night’s meeting at Worksop Town Hall, EMAS chiefs discussed its Being The Best consultation which proposes the closure of Worksop and Retford ambulance stations.

With specific reference to air ambulances, Dave Winter, acting assistant director of operations for Notts said various dispatch criteria were used when deciding whether to send out the air ambulance.

“They include falls from height, road traffic collisions, drownings,” he said.

“It’s about getting the most appropriate resource to the situation at that time.”