Frequently Asked Questions

When should I call 999? 

You should call 999 in a medical emergency, when someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk. More information can be found here. (link to when you should call 999 page) 

When should I call 111? 

You should call 111 for urgent care advice, health and dental support when your GP practice or dentist is closed. 

Will I go to the closest hospital? 

You will receive the most appropriate care.  Sometimes this will be one over the phone, our staff treating you at home.  When you do need to go to hospital, we will take you to the most appropriate care facility, which might not be the nearest hospital. 

What aircraft do you use? 

We have two Airbus H145 helicopters based in Glasgow and Inverness.  We also have two King Air 200c fixed wing aircraft based in Aberdeen and Glasgow.  Scotland's Charity Air Ambulance also have two EC135-T2is helicopters based at Perth Airport and Aberdeen. 

When can an ambulance use it sirens? 

An ambulance can only turn on its sirens in an emergency situation.  It is then up to the discretion of the driver of the ambulance to decide when to use sirens and lights or just the lights.  They will usually switch their sirens on when approaching junctions or traffic to alert people and vehicles to the presence of an ambulance before they can be seen. 

What is the speed limit for an ambulance? 

An ambulance has to obey the same traffic laws (including speed limits) as other vehicles unless it is an emergency situation. In an emergency an ambulance gets dispensation from obeying certain traffic laws including the speed limit.  

In an emergency it is up to the discretion of the driver to decide the best speed to get to or transport the patient to hospital while minimising the risk to other road users. 

Where can I buy an old ambulance? 

To ensure a fair and consistent approach, provide transparency and best value of public funding and to provide adequate controls and safeguards when disposing of vehicles and equipment, all surplus vehicles and equipment are sold by public auction through British Car Auctions Ltd.  More information can be found here.

Where are our ambulances located? 

You can see a list of ambulances including where they are located here 

Where are Public Access Defibrillators located? 

The Service is committed to increasing the number of known public access defibrillators (PAD) (sometimes called AED) sites within Scotland. 

It is important that we know where these defibrillators are located and that they are in good working order.  We encourage custodians of PADs to register them with the British Heart Foundation.  Our call takers will then be able to direct a caller to the nearest PAD when a patient is having a cardiac arrest. 

You can find out where the ones registered with the British Heart Foundation here. 

Will the crew be wearing PPE? 

Due to the pandemic, our crews will be wearing PPE.