RAF Puma helicopters based at Kinloss Barracks in Moray have been supporting the Scottish Ambulance Service with the trials of the EpiShuttle medical isolation and transportation system as part of the Scottish Government’s coronavirus response.
According to the Royal Air Force here, the Scottish Ambulance Service has trialled the use of the EpiShuttle to enable the safe and swift transportation of patients to emergency care facilities across the country.
“The RAF Pumas are on standby to assist with air transportation if required and have previously undertaken medical evacuation roles in operational theatres.
At critical care team bases in Glasgow and Aberdeen, the Puma crews worked with dozens of personnel from the Scottish Ambulance Service, the Emergency Medical Retrieval Service and NHS Scotland to trial the loading of the EpiShuttle and the associated medical crew and equipment onto a Puma helicopter.”
Squadron Leader Johnny Longland, the Puma Detachment Commander, said in the release linked to above:
“This ground-based training has been essential to help us better support the NHS in Scotland. My crews haven’t conducted medical evacuations with NHS partners before but their vast operational experience will ensure that they can deliver whatever is needed when the time comes. The trial runs were a huge success and mean we can work together seamlessly to provide a life-saving service.”
According to the Ministry of Defence:
“The Puma helicopters are part of the Aviation Task Force Covid Support Force which has helicopters on standby across the UK to support the UK government’s response to coronavirus. Working with the Army Air Corps Wildcat, RAF Chinook and Royal Navy Merlin, the RAF Puma provides essential medical evacuation capabilities as well as the ability to swiftly deliver essential equipment and personnel to where they are needed across the nation.”