Local Air Ambulance connected to full fibre

by Wessex Internet Team

News > Local Air Ambulance connected to full fibre

Pictured are: Norton Maby (Wessex Internet Installation Engineer) and Michael Rose (Wessex Internet Installation Engineer Apprentice), alongside the DSAA crew of Ben Channon, Kev Rutherford, Jonny Price and Tom Ghee. A big thanks also goes out to the Wessex Internet civils team of Charlie Ormerod, Reece Smallman, Chris Line, Andrew Tory, Ben Mason, Josh Best and Ed Snowball who were an instrumental part of the build, as they were the team who cut across the airfield ground.

Ultrafast full fibre broadband provides a lifeline for Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance

Nobody understands the need for speed, efficiency and communication more than the air ambulance team based at Henstridge on the Dorset/Somerset border. Every minute counts when they are working to save lives 19 hours a day for 365 days a year.

Thanks to Wessex Internet, Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance can now carry out their work to the optimum, with the help of a reliable, ultrafast and efficient internet connection.

James Gibson Fleming, founder of Wessex Internet, a specialist rural internet provider was instrumental in providing a full fibre broadband connection to the Henstridge Airfield base in March. As a qualified pilot and owner of a local rural business he quickly understood the challenges that the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance team were facing.

A reliable, uninterruptable internet connection is critical for the team’s operations, both on the ground and in the air. Adverse weather, medical conditions, difficult terrain and remote locations all add to the challenges faced on a daily basis.

James Gibson Fleming from Wessex Internet said: “As the air ambulance is so important to everyone in our Wessex Internet coverage area, our civils team dropped everything to get this link in. It was no mean feat - we were in the depths of winter and needed to cross 5km of the wettest farm land in the Blackmore Vale. We snatched some dry weather and got two plough teams to work simultaneously to complete the link in just 2 days. We’re delighted to have made it happen and connect the air ambulance to the ultimate ultrafast fibre. We love a challenge - and are always up for delivering a result like this when it comes to our in-house build teams who have more experience of crossing farmland than any other network builder.”

As a registered charity relying on public funding, the cost of a full fibre connection was a big consideration, so the team was delighted when Wessex Internet offered to arrange the installation free of charge.

Bill Sivewright, CEO Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance said: “Getting to patients quickly, safely and efficiently, not surprisingly, requires access to the latest information from a number of different sources. However, we are increasingly reliant on fast and reliable internet communications for every aspect of our operations, from sharing vital clinical or aviation information, to education, governance and logistics. The introduction of full-fibre to our airbase represents a real investment into the future of our communications. Wessex Internet have been supporting us for a number of years and this most recent upgrade to our system is a clear demonstration of their enduring support and generosity for which we are incredibly grateful.”

Paul Owen, Operations Manager, Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance added: “Having a reliable and fast internet connection ensures that all the planning that is necessary during inclement weather and particularly during the night can be conducted quickly and in a reliable manner. It also saves us time when we log and record incidents after returning to base and enables us to use zoom and teams type platforms effectively, which was generally unachievable, especially when we were trying to communicate remotely as a large team during the lockdown periods. The entire process of installing this state-of-the-art technology, including the digging and burrowing underground, to the teams working on both the inside and outside of the building went extremely smoothly. From start to finish it could not have been better and the internet now works beautifully.”

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