3 Oct 14

Helipad help for air ambulance heroes

EDF Energy has installed a brand new £60K helipad at their coal power station in Cottam, near Retford. The helipad will benefit their employees and the local community for a swift response in an emergency situation.

The team at EDF Energy worked in consultation with members of Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance to build the helipad to the best specification.

This includes specialist lighting and an illuminated windsock which activates when the emergency helipad is in use, so that the landing pad can be used at any time of the day or night from any approach.

In addition to the helipad, a tarmac road has also been installed to enable emergency vehicles such as the ambulance service, first responders and LIVES vehicles to gain access direct to the helipad and helicopter.

The role of the Air Ambulance is especially important to this rural area which is too far from a major trauma hospital by road. Currently, patients are taken by road to local hospitals to stabilise their condition which can often put days in between being taken to the right specialist hospital. The Air Ambulance helicopter is now more frequently deployed in preference to the land ambulance.

Director of Coal Operations at EDF Energy Andy Richardson was delighted to welcome the new facility to site: “We are so grateful to the Air Ambulance for the service they provide. It is part of our duty of care to staff, contractors and visitors to provide the best possible access to emergency services when they need them.”

Peter Aldrick, Chief Executive of Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance Trust said: “We are absolutely delighted that EDF Energy have provided this wonderful lit helipad at Cottam Power Station.

“It’s not just through donations and fund raising that our communities can help support what we do, but also by providing help practical solutions such as this.

“The helipad means we can get directly to the scene of an incident and get the patient off site and to the emergency care they need much more quickly.”

Before, the Air Ambulance were able to land the emergency helicopter on a grassed area at the power station but only in certain weathers. If there had been a lot of rain, the grassed area would have been too wet and boggy to land on. The new Helipad is suitable for all seasons and the lighting enables 24 hour access.

Members of the local community are grateful for this new resource that could make all the difference in getting their friends and relatives to the right hospital at the right time. A dog show has been organised in the Cottam Village to fundraise for the Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance.

EDF Energy contract partner Avert Fire generously donated fire fighting equipment to the Emergency Helicopter pad at Cottam.

Caption: l-r: Tim Taylor, pilot; Andy Richardson, director of coal operations EDF Energy; Neil Clarke, paramedic; Jane Pattinson, paramedic; Dr Dave Cookson.

Further information

The concrete landing pad is approximately 25 meter square and enables the emergency helicopter to land safely within the Station boundary.

A task force group from EDF Energy worked with Paramedic Roger Linnell and lead pilot Paul Smith to design and build the landing pad. The team visited Grimsby Hospital’s Helicopter Landing Pad to see a working example of a best practice landing pad.