The Countess of Wessex was in Oxfordshire on Monday to officially open the upgraded Thames Valley Air Ambulance operational base and training centre. The Thames Valley Air Ambulance crew are based at RAF Benson and its recent upgrade is the first step towards other major enhancements to the air ambulance service later this year.
The Countess of Wessex’s flying visit to the TVAA operational base saw her meet with crews and trainee air ambulance paramedics as well as witnessing demonstrations of advanced on-scene patient care.
TVAA Chairman of trustees, Sir Tim Jenner, spoke of the royal visit, “It was a privilege to welcome The Countess of Wessex for a private tour of our upgraded air crew base and demonstrate to Her Royal Highness how our innovative air
ambulance service is saving lives across the counties of Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire. The new purpose built facility has a custom built training room to ensure the most advanced trauma and emergency medical expertise is on board, with upgraded accommodation facilities for the air crew.”
During her time at the air ambulance base, The Countess of Wessex was introduced to some former patients one of whom was Georgie Horlock, who at aged 24 suffered a cardiac arrest at Bicester Village last November. Georgie spoke of the TVAA, “I cant thank Thames Valley Air Ambulance enough for all they did to help save my life. None of this would have been possible without the generosity of the public who fund this life-saving service and it was an absolute privilege to come back to the base today.”
Medical innovations on board TVAA since the year 2000 have advanced from basic medical kits to a full range of life-saving equipment, allowing the air ambulance team to deliver an advanced level of critical care to stabilise patients, identify their medical needs and get them in to the most appropriate hospital care as quickly as possible.
Sir Tim Jenner concluded, “The next two years pave an exciting path for our service. The new base provides foundations for increasing the capability of the air ambulance as we look to undertake night operations.”
Sophie’s visit to RAF Benson comes just a few days after she visited the Channel Islands, marking the 70th anniversary of their liberation from Nazi occupation.
Photo Credit: UK in France
Featured Photo Credit: Orbis