TT Course Helicopter Ambulances (AirMed)

As you would expect, rapid provision of expert pre-hospital immediate care is at the top of everyone's agenda at TT Course events.

Two Rescue helicopter ambulances - AIR-RED and AIR-BLUE are used during TT and MGP Practice weeks and race days.

They are both special ambulance-fit French Eurocopoter twin Squirrels from Atlas Helicopters arranged by the Department of Enterprise's  helicopter liaison officer, Kit Pemberton.

During the TT, they are based on the helipads at Nobles Hospital. They have special dispensation from Isle of Man Air Traffic Control to enable them to fly using the most direct route to and from an emergency and they are in constant TETRA radio communication with Race Control, based in the TT Grandstand.

If there is an incident around the course, then the marshals at the scene immediately  press the orange emergency button on their TETRA radio which alerts the radio controller. The aircraft nearest to the incident is told to scramble and head for the scene and a Travelling Marshal is also dispatched. If the Travelling Marshal or a medic at the scene do not think the casualty is in need of helicopter transfer to Hospital for a check-up, then they inform Race Control who issue a "stand-down" request. The helicopter can then return to its original base.

Each aircraft carries a doctor, usually an A&E or Anaesthetic Consultant and a paramedic. There is nearly £25,000 of medical equipment on board each aircraft for advanced life support prior to and during evacuation. Each helicopter can carry two casualties on scoop stretchers, one above the other, on the left hand side of the pilot.

The helicopters which have a top speed of 150mph, take an average time of about 5 to 6 minutes from the first radio alert to arrive at the scene of an incident. The average time spent on the ground stabilising the casualty and loading them into the aircraft is well within the Platinum 10 minutes. The aircraft then flies the casualty to one of the Hospital's 3 helipads where they are met by one of the ambulances from the Hogg Motorsport Association, unloaded and taken to the resuscitation room of Nobles' Accident and Emergency department. The average time from when the casualty falls off to arriving in Hospital is under 20minutes !!!

You've heard of the "Golden Hour" and the "Platinum 10 minutes", well as the Isle of Man is so near Sellafield nuclear fuel reprocessing plant, we aim for the "Uranium 5 minutes" .....aiming to try and transport the definitive medical expertise on board, to an incident in under 5 minutes

For racing on the Billown Southern 100 Course, only one helicopter is used. Based at Iron Gate, the helicopter is minutes away from any incident on the short course. Also located around the course are 5 Ambulances which can transport any minor injuries to Nobles Hospital in order to leave the Aircraft available for any major incidents.

Equipment carried in each Helicopter Ambulance

First Response Bag which contains:
Oral and nasopharyngeal airways.
Ventilation bag with oxygen reservoir and masks.
Portable multiflow lightwieight oxygen cylinders with 100% masks.
Numerous ambulance dressings, bandages, cervical splintsand Celox bandages and granules.
Everything required for intubation including fibre optic laryngoscope.
Laryngeal mask airways and IGels
Chest drains
Basic fluid IV infusion requirements.
Ring Cutter.

Laerdal Suction Unit with Yankauer suction mounts and catheters.

Smiths Medical Pneupac VR1 automatic ventilator

Drugs Bag with a full range of IMS mini jet syringes, all emergency drugs including seperate bags of RSI drugs

Burns Pack with Waterjel burns dressings, burn bags, burn dressings and towels, saline, Flamazine and Release dressings.

Each aircraft also carries:
Entonox inhalational analgesia units.
2 Loxley box splints.
Two bags of Velcro Fracstraps.
Spare Stifnek Select cervical splints and paediatric collar
A ZOLL X Series monitor/defibrillator
A pulse oximeter.
Disposible plastic zipped body bags.
2 orthopaedic scoop stretchers, small pillows, red head rests and several sets of stretcher straps.
10lb dry power fire extinguisher (to replace those used at an incident).
TT Course Immediate Care Case (to replace those used at an incident).

A Notice clarifying Helicopter Funding

For some motorcycle racing on the Isle of Man we use helicopter ambulances to evacuate casualties from their incident site to Hospital. They are used at the TT in June, Southern 100 Billown Course events in June and July and the Festival of Motorcycling in August. The funding for these helicopters is paid by the Government

There are NO such funds/charities as the 'TT Helicopter Fund' nor 'Isle of Man Helicopter Fund' as the helicopters for the TT races, Festival of Motorcycing and indeed all Billown course events are paid for by the Department of Economic Development. 

However for the Manx Grand Prix, the MGP Supporters Club have an 'MGP Helicopter Fund' which contributes towards the hire costs of the helicopters BUT this is for the Festival of Motorcycling only:-
[Donations to the MGPSC:- Allan Brew (Club Chairman), 25 Queens Valley, Ramsey, Isle of Man IM8 1NG

For the Southern 100 Billown Course events the helicopter costs are paid by the Isle of Man Government BUT there is a S100 Supporters Club who welcome donations, which are used to provide items for the races eg marshals boxes, recticell barriers etc.
[Donations to S100 Supporters Club:- George Peach, Ellerslie, Malew Street, Castletown, Isle of Man.]

The medical and rescue equipment in the helicopters for ALL the above events is provided by "The Rob Vine Fund" (Registered Charity 954 [Isle of Man]). The Fund is also used to purchase all the immediate care, medical and rescue equipment at over 110 marshalling locations around the TT and S100 courses. The 'Rob Vine Fund' also financially supports the Hogg Motorsport Association and its 3 ambulances.

For further information click on this link

Equipment carried by each Travelling Marshal

All the Travelling Marshals are trained in First Aid, advanced airway techniques and also Scene Management. Using their TETRA Radios, they can also speak directly to the Duty Medical Officer in Race Control as well as the crew in the AirMed Helicopter to update them on the casualties condition.

Each Travelling Marshal carries:
Latex free disposable gloves.
Two Guedel oropharyngeal airways, No 3 & 4.
Two Nasopharyngeal airways, No 6 & 8.
One resuscitation pocket mask.
One Stifneck Select cervical splint.
One pair 8" Lister bandage scissors.
One pair of Tufcut scissors.
One scalpel blade and handle.
Two No. 4 Ambulance dressings.
Two 20cm x 20cm dressing pads
One roll of 2.5cm Transpore tape.
One roll of 7.5cm Elastoplast.
One adult emergency foil blanket.
Two 10cm crepe bandages.
Three triangular bandages.
Six TRIGENE disinfectant wipes.
Plastic bag of assorted plasters with two large 10cm x 10cm Release dressings.
Two sachets of Sterets Unisept (chlorhexidine) (100mls each).
Two sets of scoop stretcher restraining straps (to keep the riders arms and legs in).

Travelling Marshals can replace their equipment from the AirMed Helicopters, the Ambulances stationed around the course or at the TT Grandstand.