Magpas Air Ambulance rapid response vehicle

As music lovers prepare for Radio 1’s Big Weekend in Luton, Magpas Air Ambulance is mobilizing additional teams of specially trained clinicians to provide lifesaving care to the thousands of people attending the festival over the course of the weekend.

Three teams, made up of an advanced doctor and critical care paramedic on every shift, will be available via rapid response vehicle stationed in Luton should anyone urgently need critical care.

All of Magpas Air Ambulance’s clinicians are specially trained to provide pre-hospital emergency medicine and bring treatments and procedures to the scene of a patient’s incident that are usually only available in a hospital—saving vital time and lives.

This care the Magpas Air Ambulance medical team provides supplements the ambulance service, meaning they can assist ambulance crews on scene by bringing additional skills and equipment. Because of that, the charity is called to the most seriously ill and injured patients in Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and beyond and is experienced at treating these time-critical patients.

Although the charity’s base is just a 14-minute flight from Luton, having a rapid response vehicle in the area means the Magpas Air Ambulance teams can reach incidents in Luton and surrounding areas even quicker—with an average response time of just five minutes. This is why the charity, based in Alconbury Weald, has been providing a car-based service in Luton for the past four years in addition to its 24/7 teams in Cambridgeshire.

Every Magpas Air Ambulance rapid response vehicle carries the same equipment and medications as the air ambulance, so the same level of care is provided no matter how the team reach their patient.

One of the Magpas Air Ambulance doctors who will be working in Luton over the weekend is Dr Leigh Bissett who, when he’s not working with the charity, is a consultant in the emergency department at Luton and Dunstable hospital. He explains, “Magpas Air Ambulance is providing lifesaving care during Radio 1's Big Weekend in Luton. This ensures that attendees and the local community will receive top-notch medical support throughout the event and into the carnival on Monday. As a consultant in emergency medicine, working for both Magpas and Luton and Dunstable Hospital, I am proud that we can support a community that means so much to me. Luton deserves the excellent care offered by a charity like Magpas Air Ambulance.”

Magpas Air Ambulance Critical Care Paramedic Thomas Giddings, who is also spending his weekend working on the charity’s rapid response vehicle in Luton is no stranger to working at music festivals, having provided medical cover to hundreds of events across the UK. With his experience of both event medicine, and working with Magpas Air Ambulance, Thomas explains “Radio 1's Big Weekend will attract a large number of people to the region and, having worked extensively over the past 15 years at high profile events all over the UK, I have seen firsthand the strain this sudden influx of people can place on local health services if a comprehensive plan is not formulated to manage this. This is why it is so vital we as a charity work collaboratively with the event medical provider and the NHS Ambulance Service to provide additional support to the Luton community over this exciting weekend; ensuring the right help is given as quickly as possible to those that become critically unwell or injured, whilst still providing our 24/7 service provision to the wider population within our region. I am looking forward to using all my experience to help support the event and make this weekend a great success for the people of Luton!”