September 30, 2021 8.36 am This story is over 32 months old

Prince Edward opens new Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance HQ

The first time all staff and crew have come together under one roof after 27 years

The Earl of Wessex Prince Edward officially opened the new headquarters of the Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance near to RAF Waddington, after viewing the charity’s brand new helicopter.

The Earl spent time speaking to supporters, volunteers, staff and crew at the event on Tuesday, September 28, while taking a tour of the new purpose-built facility.

His Royal Highness addressed the guests and acknowledged their contribution to the charity, saying: “It is thanks to supporters and volunteers like you that this service can continue to carry out the work it does and operate from such a fantastic facility.”

The charity’s new helicopter, which arrived at the base on Saturday (September 25) | Photo: Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance

The Earl then unveiled a plaque to mark the occasion.

Past patient Joshua Marriott told the gathered guests: “If it wasn’t for the Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance crew, I would not be here today. They scooped me up off the side of the road after a motorcycle accident and got me to hospital.”

Plans for the new HQ took flight five years ago when CEO Karen Jobling joined the charity. The new facility, which cost around £4 million, was funded by capital grants including one secured from the Department for Health and Social Care.

| Photo: Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance

Karen said: “[Prince Edward] recognised, as we do, that our new HQ isn’t just a building, it’s the first time all of our staff and crew have come together under one roof after 27 years on separate sites.

“The new facility enables us to expand and further develop our critical care service, invite past patients and their families to meet the crew who attended to them, and somewhere our generous supporters can come to see first-hand what we do.”

| Photo: Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance

| Photo: Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance

The charity’s latest helicopter, a Leonardo AW169, is now being put through its paces while clinician training takes place.

LNAA Chief Pilot Llewis Ingamells said: “While our new AW169 looks strikingly similar to our previous one, this is the latest generation from Leonardo Helicopters. There are a host of changes underneath the familiar yellow paint scheme which make this the most capable helicopter LNAA have ever operated.

“Noticeable changes supporters may have spotted are the relocation of the Trakkabeam searchlight to the tail boom, retractable bear paws over the wheels and engine inlet filters just to name a few. Inside it has weather radar, phase 6 flight software, an extended baggage bay and a truly state of the art medical interior capable of undertaking true critical care transfers.”

The Earl of Wessex also visited RAF Waddington to mark the retirement of the E-3D Sentry on Tuesday.