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Sloane prepares AW109S for 2013 start as The Children’s Air Ambulance launches service
Sloane Helicopters is preparing to launch operations with an AgustaWestland AW109S on behalf of The Children’s Air Ambulance (TCAA).

Sloane Helicopters is preparing to launch operations with an AgustaWestland AW109S on behalf of The Children’s Air Ambulance (TCAA). The company recently flew the special liveried and dedicated helicopter in for a launch party at the Barclays London Heliport, carrying Alex Toft, director of operations and clinical services of The Air Ambulance Service and TCAA ambassador pop star Simon Le Bon of Duran Duran.

Simon Hutchins, manager of the heliport, greeted the guests when the helicopter landed from Coventry airport, the operations base of the TCAA. Applauding the initiative, The Reuben Foundation has pledged its support to TCAA, commenting: “We recognise the crucial service provided by The Children’s Air Ambulance across London and the UK and are pleased to give our support and welcome them to the Barclays London Heliport.”

TCAA will transfer critically ill children from general hospitals to paediatric intensive care units across England and Wales, or help move specialist paediatric teams to enable children to receive the specialist treatment and care they need as soon as possible, cutting transfer times.

Commenting on the launch, Toft says: “It was a hugely exciting day for us. After months of planning, we’re now entering a two-month phase of training and fundraising – our crew will be visiting five children’s transfer groups across the UK for familiar-isation purposes – before beginning to undertake missions in early 2013.”

Le Bon adds: “The Children’s Air Ambulance is a fantastic new service that is desperately needed through-out the UK. Each year, thousands of seriously ill children need urgent care at specialist hospitals. This service relies completely on charitable donations from the general public. It is my intention to do all I can to raise the profile of TCAA and to help raise the money that is so crucial to keeping the service running.”

The service needs a further £545,000 to begin delivering the service in England and Wales, with £134,000 required per month to maintain the service. 

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