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The Children's Air Ambulance
Abbreviation TCAA
Formation 2005
Legal status Registered charity
Purpose/focus Supporting critically ill children in the UK
Location 20 Western Road, St Marychurch, Torquay, Devon
Region served UK
Website The Chidren's Air Ambulance

The Children's Air Ambulance, is a charity based in Torquay, Devon that aims to provide an air ambulance service to critically ill children throughout the entire United Kingdom, as well as blood and organ transplant transportation that is required for children. The charity aims to the first service of its kind in Europe, that will work 24 hours a day, transporting children from hospitals to specialist children's unit.

Contents

Funding

The Children's Air Ambulance is an independent charity that receives no government support, like all the air ambulances in England. The CAA is entirely funded by corporate and public donations. In 2006 it raised £46,865 and spent £47,246, in 2007 it raised £19,466 and spent £2,265, in 2008 it raised £371 and spent £0.[1]

Operations

Although the CAA is an air ambulance charity it doesn't own or lease an aircraft, and has no arrangement to use one for another source.[2] They plan to have one once they have raised enough money, which they say they have raised half of.[3] The model they plan to buy is a S76C+ which will be operated by Cabair Helicopters, the helicopter would seat 4 attendants, 1 or 2 stretchers and 2 pilots. It can travel at 180 mph and has a range of three hours. The aircraft is larger than most air ambulances in the UK, and is not a popular choice for such a task. The Eurocopter and McDonnell Douglas are the more popular models in British air ambulances.

The helicopter would be based in London, which it could reach anywhere in the UK within two hours and reach all of the specialised children units within 70 minutes of its base. It can reach Scotland and Ireland in 85 minutes, the Midlands in 60 minutes, and Wales and the West Country in 35 minutes.[4]

Technology

The CAA plan to implement the Twin Rotating Evacuation Carriage, which allows for many combinations of stretchers to be used, including two together or an incubator and stretcher. This also allows for the strecters to be removed from either or both sides. The ambulance will also be fitted with ample lighting, an oxygen system that can supply 8000 litres of oxygen, electrical systems, stretcher bridges, a satellite phone, a nitesun landing light, a liquid oxygen advanced life support system and a DVD system for sick children to watch.[5]

Criticisms

Other air ambulance organisations in the UK have said that they fear their fundraising will efforts will lose out due to people donating to the CAA instead.[6] The Children's Air Ambulance Trust has caused some confusion whilst fundraising with people confusing the CAA with local air ambulances such as Wiltshire Air Ambulance and Devon Air Ambulance.[7]

There have been some reports of established air ambulance charities warning potential donors to avoid 'bogus air ambulance charity collectors' when actually the collections are for the CAA.[8] The fundraising has also caused confusion over the fact that the organisation has no helicopter, and people are reluctant to donate to a project that is only half started.

The Devon Air Ambulance has also criticised the viability of this project, since the existing air ambulances do the potential work of the CAA, they claim there is no need for an Air Ambulance dedicated to children. They also criticised the costing of the CAA who plan to provide the service 24 hours a day, saying that their estimate of £1.5 million running costs is unrealistic given the size of the area they cover, the size of the task they plan to do and the larger than normal size of the aircraft they have chosen.[9] Others have also criticised the fact that the CAA has no interest in support anyone over the age of 16, saying that it would be better to have another air ambulance.

See also

References

External links

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