The team then come together for a briefing. This covers both the medical and aviation side of operations such as weather, temperature, cloud base and NOTAMS, as well as things that have been published nationally about airspaces, restrictions to hospital landing sites and any unusual occurrences, such as thunderclouds. Despite being an emergency medical service, an air ambulance is classed as commercial air transport by the Civil Aviation Authority, which brings a number of restrictions. For example, in order to fly, there must be a 500ft cloud base (1,200ft at night) with 3km visibility.

The team also perform equipment, battery and drug checks and find out what sort of staffing is available from our neighbouring air ambulances. As we are the only air ambulance in the south west region to provide critical care both during the day and night, the crew need to be prepared in case they could be tasked outside of our county borders.

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