Air ambulance moves to Leeds

SOUTH Yorkshire is to lose its air ambulance base - but the service’s bosses promise that the aircraft will be no more than 10 minutes flying time away from any emergencies in the area.

The air ambulance currently based in Sheffield is to move 70 miles to Thirsk in North Yorkshire, which means that the Rotherham area will now be coveredby a helicopter flying out of Leeds-Bradford airport.

The move is the result of areview of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance’s operations, which is designed to improve coverage across the whole county.

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Chairman Peter Sunderland said: “We have recently undertaken an in-depth and thorough strategic review of our operations to determine the optimum use of our assets. 

“Through operating from Bagby Airfield near Thirsk and Leeds, we are certain we will be providing a more comprehensive service for all the Yorkshire regions.”

Bagby will be used to respond to incidents in the north and east of the county, while Leeds will attend calls in the south and west.

All parts of Yorkshire should be within ten minutes flying time under the new plan, the charity has said.

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Mr Sunderland said: “We are certain this is a positive move for the charity and also ensures the best use of the financial resource donated by the people of Yorkshire.”

As an independent charity, it is the YAA’s responsibility to ensure that their helicopters are geographically placed to ensure optimum access on an operational cost effective basis, and with a duty of care to YAA supporters.

The YAA will continue to offer its rapid response emergency service across the region 365 days a year.

It costs £7,200 a day to keep both ambulances in the air. To support the charity, visit