Enhanced Air Ambulance Access for Shetland Outer Isles

 Tuesday 12 February 2013

The Scottish Ambulance Service has completed an initiative to create new lit helicopter landing sites on Shetland’s outer isles that will enhance access for medical evacuations.

While the Coastguard helicopter has always had 24 hour access to these islands, the new sites will allow access at night by the Jigsaw helicopter, which requires a lit landing site in darkness under Civil Aviation Authority rules.

Volunteers have been trained to deploy the lights, when notified by the Service, on Clickimin, Fair Isle, Fetlar, Foula, Papa Stour, Skerries, Unst, Whalsay, Yell.

Andy Moir, Head of Air Ambulance Service, Scottish Ambulance Service, said:
“We have worked closely with clinicians and community representatives on the islands to ensure that we continue to provide a a high quality service that meets their needs.

“The development of these sites and the support of volunteers to deploy lights in darkness will improve operational flexibility, particularly at night.”

The Scottish Ambulance Service undertakes around 16 medical evacuations by air from Shetland’s outer isles every year. In October last year the Service entered into an agreement with Directflight to provide non-emergency transfers to Tingwall and Sumburgh on the company’s locally based Islander aircraft.