Take a look at the questions and answers below.

If you have a query that isn't featured, please email it to hello@wiltshireairambulance.co.uk

We are a charity that provides Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) across Wiltshire, Bath and surrounding areas. We are called to medical emergencies, such as cardiac arrests and medical collapses, as well as serious trauma injuries and road traffic collisions.

It officially started on 15 March 1990 but there have been many changes to the service since then, including the start of night flying in 2001, becoming a standalone service in 2015 and the move to Semington in 2018. You can follow the full timeline of our charity by visiting the our history page below.

Our history

We are operational up to 19 hours a day, 365 days a year. The aircrew are available to respond to emergencies between 8am through to 3am in the early hours. On average our team will be called to three incidents a day. We respond in our helicopter or one of our two critical care cars (on some occasions we will attend missions in both the helicopter and one or both of our cars).

View our missions map

Our primary area is Wiltshire and Bath, but we can also be called to incidents in surrounding areas (we’ve attended incidents in Wales and on the Isle of Wight before!). We can fly anywhere within Wiltshire in 11 minutes and it takes just four minutes to fly to the centre of Bath.

View our missions map

We are called if a patient needs our clinical skills in critical care and/or the additional drugs and specialist medical equipment we carry.

We are dispatched by the HEMS (Helicopter Emergency Medical Service) desk in Exeter, which is run by the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASfT).

The dispatchers monitor all calls to the ambulance service in the area and identify incidents where an air ambulance is needed. 

The dispatchers listen into calls, phone back callers and get updates from ambulance crews on scene.

In addition, we can be called upon for support by land ambulances and other air ambulance crews, or liaise directly with the HEMS desk for incidents we locate.

Our extensive analysis of incidents across the Wiltshire and Bath area demonstrate that there would not be enough incidents requiring our services, compared to the huge extra cost for extending our flying time to 24/7. Wiltshire Air Ambulance is one of very few air ambulance charities that fly at night, thanks to the specialist equipment we have, such as night vision goggles.

It costs £4.5 million a year to keep the service operational, which is the equivalent of more than £12,000 a day.

We receive no regular direct Government funding or National Lottery grants, so rely on generous donations from the general public and businesses across Wiltshire and Bath to continue our lifesaving service.

No, we are a registered charity. Our critical care paramedics are seconded across from South Western Ambulance Service Foundation Trust, who pay half of their salary, with the charity funding the rest, as well as their training.

There are many ways to support our lifesaving work. The easiest way is through a one-off donation, or by signing up to give on a regular basis. We also have our own Lottery and hold two Raffles a year. Other ways to support us including leaving a gift in your Will, by using our In Memory service or through our Charity Shop (either by purchasing items or donating unwanted items). 

View ways to give

Get in touch

Have you been airlifted by us?

If you or someone you know has been airlifted by our team, it would be great to hear from you. We can arrange for a visit to the airbase for the chance to meet our pilots, paramedics and doctors.