MAAC HEMS-Star®

Application: Portable Helipad Lighting Systems used at 5+ designated secondary landing sites, for day and night operations

Locations: Midlands, UK (Covering Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, the West Midlands and Worcestershire)

Benefits:

  • Supports Extended Operating Hours
  • Improved Regional Coverage in Low-Visibility/Night Ops
  • Reliable Lighting Solution
  • Low Maintenance
  • Faster Response Times to Nearest Trauma Unit
  • Ultimately, Supports Extended Patient Care

Midlands Air Ambulance Charity, UK

Since 1991, Midlands Air Ambulance Charity (MAAC) has responded to more than 47,000 missions averaging 2,000 per year, making it one of the longest established and busiest air ambulance organisations in the UK. In November 2015, MAAC commenced night flying operations. However, it soon became apparent that operating purely between their licensed night aerodrome locations, such as Cosford, Strensham, Tatenhill, and the trauma centres with night landing facilities to include University Hospital North Midlands (UHNM) and University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW); restricted overall response time to emergency situations.

A solution was required to increase MAAC’s regional network coverage and get them closer to the scene of the incident. The answer was to identify night operational secondary landing sites across the region, which could be quickly illuminated on demand, providing clear, safe landing sites in key locations that were deemed as challenging to get to by road. A key part of this solution was the provision of FEC Heliports Portable Helipad Lighting Systems, acquired entirely via funds raised by the Helicopter Emergency Landing Pad (HELP) Appeal; as they will do for other Air Ambulance charities. These enabled local, retained Firefighters and Community Volunteers to maintain and deploy the portable lights at the secondary landing sites. The lights are set out in a pre-determined pattern, then they (or the MAAC cockpit) can be easily switched on and operated at the required setting; either manually or by using the Remote Lighting Controller (RLC).

The night secondary landing sites have been operational since February 2016, and now include Ludlow, Bishop’s Castle, Bridgenorth, Shobdon and Tilstock, with more sites in the pipeline. They can be utilised throughout the year, and will continue to vastly improve response times for critical care in the MAAC region.

“The FEC Heliports Portable Helipad Lights were not only chosen for their ability to provide a compliant, light weight, re-chargeable and easy to use portable lighting solution for the roll out of our night secondary landing sites, but they have also required pretty much zero maintenance (monthly checks only) and extremely low running cost benefits too. I can recommend the FEC Portable Lights to any service facing similar emergency incidents”

Becky Steele
MAAC Air Operations/MERIT/RTD Manager
Chair AAA Operations Sub Committee