Woodgate Aviation has won a multi-million pound contract to provide the Northern Ireland Air Ambulance service for the next three years.
The company saw off stiff competition to retain the business which provides a vital link for patients who have to receive treatment in GB hospitals.
Last year alone, Woodgate had its busiest year, transporting 430 patients out of Northern Ireland, many for specialist treatment not available here.
Woodgate Aviation has been operating the Air Ambulance service since 2006 and in that time, 2,500 patients have used the service. Patients include infants in incubators and adults with rare medical conditions.
Woodgate Aviation General Manager, David Shaw, said securing the contract for a further three years, with an option to extend for a further year, is a significant statement about the quality of the service that is provided from the company’s new, purpose-built hangar at Belfast International Airport.
Mr Shaw said: “This is an important contract for Woodgate, and one that will safeguard 20 ground and air crew.
“We use a specially fitted Kingair as our air ambulance, and our team includes an additional 19 aeromedical staff capable of transferring both paediatric and adult patients. Retaining the contract is a great tribute to their professionalism and care.
“Over the years, we have received many letters and emails thanking us for doing what we do.
“One such message put it all into context for us. Michael Hughes accompanied his wife, Pauline, to the liver unit at King’s Hospital London for a liver transplant.
“In a posting on Facebook, Mr. Hughes said: ‘We were deeply grateful to them for literally going the extra mile for us.’
“What we do at Woodgate makes a difference to peoples’ lives. Winning this important contract means we can continue to provide a first-class service to the many hundreds of people who will use our service in coming years.”