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Great North Air Ambulance Service welcomes faster helicopter

GNAAS new helicopter Image copyright GNAAS
Image caption The new air ambulance responded to its first call out minutes after its unveiling

A faster and more powerful helicopter has started operating out of the new base of the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS).

The charity's admin staff moved into the premises at Eaglescliffe last year, but its aircraft continued to operate from Teesside International Airport.

Pilots, doctors and paramedics have also now relocated to the new centre.

To coincide with the move, it has taken delivery of a new helicopter which it says will help save more lives.

Within minutes of its unveiling, the Dauphin N3+ was called out to respond to a medical emergency in Prudhoe.

Gordon Ingram, operations manager at the GNAAS, said it was "one of the fastest, if not the fastest air ambulance in the UK".

"It's got more performance, this definitely takes us to the next step", he says.

"Our region goes from the east coast to the west coast, from the Scottish Border to North Yorkshire, so this gives us the performance, the reliability, the speed and the effectiveness to bring critical care to the patients of the north.

Director of operations, Andy Mawson, added: "This aircraft will mean the difference between life and death for some people out there."

Image copyright GNAAS
Image caption The team operated its final shift at Teesside International Airport on Monday evening

GNAAS, which operates three helicopters covering the North East, Cumbria and North Yorkshire, was founded in 2010.

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