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Scottish Ambulance Service: Wikis


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The logo of the Scottish Ambulance Service
SASDivmap copy.jpg
Two Mercedes-Benz Sprinter ambulances of the Scottish Ambulance Service
EC-135 G-SASA "Helimed 5" based at Glasgow City Heliport
Scottish Ambulance Service Air Ambulance G-SASA waiting at Fort William West End car park.
An SAS PRU (Paramedic Response Unit). A Ford Focus estate

The Scottish Ambulance Service (Scottish Gaelic: Seirbheis Charbadan-eiridinn na h-Alba) is part of the National Health Service in Scotland, and serves all of Scotland. It is a Special Health Board funded directly by the Scottish Government Health Department.

The two main functions of the trust are the provision of an accident and emergency service to respond to 999 calls and the non-Emergency Service, which performs the role of taking patients to and from their hospital appointments, discharges from Hospital and non urgent transfers



The national headquarters are in Edinburgh and there are five divisions within the Service, namely:

Scottish Ambulance Service Divisions
Division Covering Area in Square Miles
North Highlands, Western Isles, Grampian, Orkney, Shetland [1] 15,607
East Central Fife, Forth Valley, Tayside [2] 4,421
West Central Greater Glasgow, Lanarkshire [3] 1,054
South East Edinburgh, Lothian and Borders [4] 2,457
South West Argyll, Argyll islands, Clyde islands, Ayrshire, Dumfries and Galloway [5] 6,670

Patient Transport

The Patient Transport Service carries almost 1.6 million patients every year. This important service is provided so that patients who are physically or medically unfit to travel to hospital out-patient appointments by any other means can still make their appointments. The service also handles non-emergency admissions and discharges from Hospitals.

Patient Transport Vehicles are Staffed by Ambulance Care Assistants either double or single crewed depending on the patients needs. They are trained to look after patients during the journey to and from Hospital.

Air wing

The service has the only government-funded "Air Wing" in the UK, operated under contract by Gama Aviation. The fleet consists of two Eurocopter EC-135 helicopters (operated under sub-contract by Bond Air Services) and two Beechcraft B200C fixed-wing aircraft, which provide emergency response and transfers of patients to and from remote areas of Scotland. In 2007/08, the air wing flew 3,274 missions.

The aircraft based at Glasgow are regularly used by the UK's only Emergency Medical Retrieval Service. During 2008/09 the Air wing was occasionally featured as part of the popular Channel 5 TV documentary series Highland Emergency.

Scottish Ambulance Service Air Wing
CAA Registration Type Based Call sign Photo
G-SASA* Eurocopter EC-135 (T2+) Glasgow City Heliport Helimed 5 G-SASA
G-SASB* Eurocopter EC-135 (T2) Inverness Airport Helimed 2 G-SASB
G-SASC Beechcraft B200C Glasgow Airport Gama xxx G-SASC
G-SASD Beechcraft B200C Aberdeen Airport Gama xxx G-SASD

* G-SASA and G-SASB regularly swap operational base


Special Operations Response Teams (SORT) have been set up in the North, East and West of Scotland to respond to major incidents including Nuclear, Chemical and Radiological ones. These teams have specially equipped vehicles with decontamination equipment on board.


Three Emergency Medical Dispatch Centre's (EMDC) provide Command & Control and 999 Call Taking Facilities for the Service, these are located in Cardonald, Edinburgh and Inverness. These centres operate 24 hours per day 365 days per year. All requests for an Ambulance are prioritised using a piece of software called the Advanced Medical Priority Dispatch System (AMPDS) and a Response is sent according to clinical need. Responses can be in the form of an Ambulance, a Paramedic Response Unit, a BASICS Doctor, an Ambulance Officer or a Community First Responder. [6]

Training College

The Scottish Ambulance Service has its own dedicated training college located at Barony Castle in Eddleston near Peebles. Set in 25 acres of formal gardens and woodlands, Barony is a dedicated residential training and conference centre with 78 bedrooms and allows the service to carry out all its training in house.

Facts and figures

In 2007/08, the service: [7]

  • Responded to 584,108 accident and emergency incidents.
  • Carried out 1,691,971 non-emergency patient journeys.
  • Flew 3,274 air ambulance missions.
  • The average response time to life-threatening calls throughout Scotland was 8.2 minutes.
  • The service employs 3,192 staff, of whom 155 are in management and administration and 12 are board members.

Ambulance Livery

The ambulances have been painted white since the formation of the Scottish Ambulance Service. The ambulances originally carried a blue stripe of the sides with "Scottish Ambulance Service" in yellow lettering. The livery was changed to yellow fluorescent stripes sometime between 1986-92. The current livery with battenburg markings was introduced in 2002.


  1. ^ Locations - North, accessed 09 May 2009
  2. ^ Locations - East Central, accessed 11 February 2009
  3. ^ Locations - West Central, accessed 11 February 2009
  4. ^ Locations - South East, accessed 11 February 2009
  5. ^ Locations - South West, accessed 11 February 2009
  6. ^ EMDC', accessed 13 July 2009
  7. ^ Scottish Ambulance Service website annual report]

See also

External links



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