Take Off for Ambulance: Code Red on Channel 5

Murray MacGregor – Thursday 27th August 2020 – 2.10pm.

They go to some of the most serious and time critical cases in the West Midlands and now you can see how they work with ambulance crews to save lives.

On Monday evening at 9.00pm on Channel 5, the critical care paramedics and doctors who work with West Midlands Ambulance Service and Midlands Air Ambulance will be featured in a brand new series called ‘Ambulance: Code Red’.

Filmed before the corona virus pandemic, the series follows the staff as they support the ambulance crews at the scene.  It looks at the critical care paramedics who operate on a car during the day and then the MERIT trauma doctor and critical care paramedic team who fly on the Midlands Air Ambulance based at RAF Cosford during the day and operate on a rapid response vehicle at night.

In the first episode, the teams work to treat a man who suffered a fit and went into cardiac arrest; a child who has been knocked over by a car; a woman who has been thrown from her horse onto a concrete path; an elderly woman who has fallen over in her home badly breaking her ankle; and a car that somersaulted and collided with a lamppost.

West Midlands Ambulance Service Chief Executive, Anthony Marsh, said: “This programme gives a real insight into the support that our CCPs and doctors can give to our ambulance crews who are dealing with some of the most complex patients.

“It demonstrates how they work with the crews on scene to use their enhanced skills to benefit patients.  Without the work of the staff on scene, the teams wouldn’t be able to use those skills, so it really is all about working together.

“The teams provide critical care at the scene that save lives, brains and limbs, including pre-hospital surgery and pre-hospital anaesthesia.”

Critical Care Paramedic Tom Waters, who is featured throughout the series added: “It’s a really challenging role but really rewarding.  We work with the staff in our control rooms to make sure patients get to the specialist care they need for example major trauma centres and cardiac care units, often bypassing the local hospital.

“Our role is very much to work alongside ambulance crews, not take over from them.  By working with them, we are able to ensure patients get the best are possible.”

Ian Roberts, Air Operations Manager for Midlands Air Ambulance Charity, said: “Ambulance Code Red shows a unique insight into the work of a critical care team within the Midlands.

“The pre-hospital doctors and critical care paramedics on-board the helicopters and critical care cars bring specialist skills, advanced medicines and procedures to an incident scene and work together with colleagues in the ambulance service to give the patients the very best chance of recovery and survival.”

Notes to Editors:

About Midlands Air Ambulance Charity:
COVID-19: During the continuing coronavirus pandemic, we have been working with the regional NHS community, including West Midlands Ambulance Service, providing clinical resource and specialist medical equipment to support frontline services.

Who are we? Midlands Air Ambulance serves the largest air ambulance region in the UK. This includes the communities of Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, West Midlands and Worcestershire; representing a population in excess of six million.

What do we do? The charity responds to an average of 3,000 missions each year. We re a helicopter-led service with over 2,000 of deployments being air missions. Were also have a fleet of Rapid Response Vehicles and two critical care cars. On average Midlands Air Ambulance Charity is one of the longest established and busiest air ambulance operators in the UK.

Our lifesaving service: The three air ambulance helicopters are based at Cosford airbase, near Shifnal Shropshire (covering Shropshire and the West Midlands), Tatenhill airbase, near Burton-on-Trent Staffordshire (covering Staffordshire and the West Midlands), and Strensham Services on the M5 in Worcestershire (covering Herefordshire, Gloucestershire and Worcestershire).The charity’s three aircraft each carry a crew comprising a pilot, two paramedics or flight doctors plus full life-support medical equipment. The two critical care cars are based in Oldbury, West Midlands (serving the Birmingham and Black Country areas) and the charity’s Worcestershire airbase at Strensham. The charity’s cars each have one critical care paramedic on-board with full life-support medical equipment.

The Golden Hour: If a patient receives definitive care within 60 minutes of injury, their chances of survival are dramatically increased. All areas of the region are accessible in 19 minutes and 90% of the region is accessible within eight minutes.

The cost: Each year it costs in excess of £10 million just to keep the three charity helicopters operational. Each air ambulance mission costs £2,500 on average and each critical care car mission costs £224, which is entirely funded by the generosity of the general public and local businesses


  1. Hi I would just like to know where I would be able to log a complaint again the tv series Ambulance code red. I and my partner have both been broadcasted without either of our consent and would like it taken down, before we seek legal action.

    1. Hi Reyanne…
      Thank you for your message and i am sorry that you have felt the need to contact us about such a matter.
      If you are comfortable with me doing so, i can pass your email address on to the producers so that they can contact you directly.
      Do let me know.

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