Skoda is continuing its partnership with London's Air Ambulance service and will replace the service's current fleet of vehicles with three new Octavia vRS estate models as well as two Kodiaqs.
The vehicles have been chosen by the service to support its trauma unit, and continue a partnership stretching back 12 years. The five new cars are being supplied on a three-year lease deal through Volkswagen Financial Services, and will work alongside London's pair of Air Ambulance helicopters.
The cars will be called into action when the helicopters are unable to fly due to adverse weather conditions, and will be based at The Royal London Hospital in East London. They will be dispatched by the London Ambulance Service (LAS) Emergency Operational Centre, which monitors up to 5,000 medical 999 calls that are received each day. The cars will be linked via a bespoke dispatch app that connects to the car’s infotainment system to ensure that the medical team get to the patient as quickly and safely as possible.
London’s Air Ambulance Physician Response Unit (PRU) will also use the cars for 12 hours each day, making the most of the Octavia estate's 610-litre boot to carry the advanced medication and equipment that would usually only be found in hospital, enabling the life-saving crew to treat people at the scene or at home.
"We provide a vital service to the capital transporting an advanced trauma doctor and paramedic to seriously injured people," said Paul Smith, Driving Standards Manager at London’s Air Ambulance. "Whilst the helicopter can reach patients in a matter of minutes, our fleet of rapid response cars is also critical to serve the community and ensure that we are ready to respond instantly in all-weather conditions."
"The reliability and performance of ŠKODA continues to meet the demand of our service and we are pleased to renew the contract once again."
Henry Williams, Head of Fleet for ŠKODA UK, added: "London’s Air Ambulance service places heavy demand on its vehicles and it’s fantastic to see that they continue to perform excellently under pressure. The Kodiaq will be a new addition to their fleet and its combination of high-performance, 4x4 capability and fuel economy will prove a resilient partner to the team."