Wales Air Ambulance landed at Mount Stuart School in Cardiff Bay to provide an educational workshop about how to call 999.
Mount Stuart School is the first of several primary schools across Wales to receive the special assembly from Wales Air Ambulance, the only air ambulance dedicated to serving the people of Wales.
Having helped some of Wales’ youngest patients through its specialist division, the Children’s Wales Air Ambulance, the charity wanted to make sure that young people know what to do in an emergency.
After landing the helicopter on the school playing field, staff from the Wales Air Ambulance charity taught more than 200 children aged between eight and eleven about what to do in an emergency.
Annie Lawrie, Wales Air Ambulance’s community coordinator, told pupils when to call 999 by going through different scenarios, and what to expect when talking to an emergency dispatcher, including knowing the address of the incident and whether or not the injured person is breathing.
Angela Hughes, chief executive of the Wales Air Ambulance said: “For many of us, even as adults, being faced with an emergency can be incredibly frightening and dialling ‘999’ for the first time can be quite scary and confusing. We wanted to take some of that initial fear and uncertainty out of the situation and educate children when and how to call for help, should they ever need to.
“We have state-of the-art incubators for vulnerable babies, helping some of Wales’ youngest patients with vital hospital transfers and emergency airlifts. Because of the work we carry out through our specialist children’s division, we felt it was appropriate to deliver these workshops specifically aimed at schools.”
As well as the workshop, pilot Andy Ryder showed the children some of the lifesaving medical equipment used on board including a ventilator to help critically injured patients breathe and a specialist incubator for vulnerable babies.
Helen Borley, head teacher of Mount Stuart School said: “It was so beneficial and exciting for all the learners to have the Wales Air Ambulance come to school and present such an important workshop. Our year four classes have been learning all about the emergency services in a module called ‘Emergency 999’, so it was a great opportunity to bring their lessons to life, and teach the rest of the school a valuable lesson about the vital work the Wales Air Ambulance does and how to deal with an emergency.”
The Children’s Wales Air Ambulance, the specialist division of the Wales Air Ambulance charity is the only air ambulance service dedicated to serving the needs of its youngest patients in Wales during their most urgent hour. Its four bases means its aircraft can reach anywhere in the country within 20 minutes.
Last year, in partnership with NHS Wales, the organisation introduced new, on-board incubators for vulnerable babies to transport them to hospital quickly using some of the best equipment available in the UK. Wales Air Ambulance is also introducing a new fleet of helicopters this year and has recently extended its flying hours on its fourth helicopter from five to seven days a week. The charity relies on donations to raise the £6.5 million needed each year to fly its helicopters over Wales.
To find out more about the Children’s Wales Air Ambulance and its latest news, visit www.childrenswalesairambulance.com