Coronavirus: RAF Helicopter Takes Part In Medical Evacuation Training

The training allowed RAF crews to familiarise themselves with potential landing sites.

An RAF helicopter has taken part in medical evacuation training in Scotland's Western Isles.

The Puma helicopter, currently based at Kinloss Barracks, is part of the Aviation Task Force set up as part of the Ministry of Defence's (MOD) COVID Support Force.

The training saw RAF crew work alongside personnel from NHS Scotland and HM Coast Guard to prepare for the potential medical evacuations of coronavirus patients.

It comes after a Puma helicopter carried out the first medical evacuation from the Scottish islands last week. 

The MOD said the training included loading a stretcher onto the aircraft and showing medics where they should be positioned when treating the patient during transit.

Group Captain Adam Wardrope, Commander of the Aviation Task Force, said: "The Puma helicopter crews have extensive experience of challenging casualty evacuations from operations in the UK and abroad over many years.

"This training with the emergency services in the Western Isles highlights our commitment to using our expertise to support the NHS in Scotland and around the UK.”

Personnel practised loading a stretcher onto the aircraft (Picture: MOD).

The training also allowed RAF crews to familiarise themselves with potential landing sites.

The COVID Aviation Task Force has helicopters based across the UK to support the Government's response to the coronavirus crisis.

The helicopters are on standby to provide essential medical evacuations, as well as transporting supplies.

Cover image: MOD.