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Midlands Air Ambulance targeted by laser

By Staffordshire Newsletter  |  Posted: August 13, 2014

Midlands Air Ambulance targeted by laser

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A MIDLANDS Air Ambulance trauma doctor has spoken of his anger after a laser beam was pointed at the air ambulance he was in as they flew an injured van driver to hospital.

Trauma Doctor and Clinical Lead for the Midlands Air Ambulance Nick Crombie said pointing a laser was as bad as deliberately slowing down an ambulance on the roads.

Dr Crombie was on a night shift with the MERIT trauma team with West Midlands Ambulance Service on Monday night, was accompanying the aircrew of the Midlands Air Ambulance from Staffordshire with the injured man after a road crash on the A429 near Ettington.

They were flying the casualty to University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire when they noticed the beam following their craft.

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Dr  Crombie said: “We had been to a car crash that left five people injured. Even though it was quite late and dark, we were still able to fly the most seriously injured to hospital.

“As we flewk at a height of more than 1,200ft, a laser was pointed at the aircraft.

“Fortunately for us, the pilot is highly experienced and dealt with it. But had the laser caught anyone’s eye, albeit briefly, it can lead to blindness for at least ten minutes and a loss of spacial awareness.

“Had we not taken action and avoided being been dazzled, it would have prevented us landing until the visual effects had settled, delaying treatment of the casualty. It has the same effect as deliberately slowing down an ambulance en-route to hospital.

“If we can find whoever is responsible, we will seek to have them prosecuted.”

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