Meet our fleet

We have three helicopters and four Rapid Response Vehicles (RRVs). They transport our lifesaving crews to an average of nine emergency calls a day. Without our fleet, we couldn’t deliver critical care right at the scene, saving lives when every second counts.

Explore our fleet and discover how we are dedicated to serving our communities across Kent, Surrey and Sussex by land and air.

Our lifesaving helicopters

In 2017, we proudly became one of the first air ambulance charities to operate the AW169 helicopter and now have three aircraft in our fleet.

Meet our aircraft – the AW169. At KSS, our helicopter is your lifeline.

With its state-of-the-art capabilities and advanced medical equipment, our helicopters ensure that our medical crew continue to reach the most critically ill across Kent, Surrey, and Sussex within 30 minutes.

Key stats

"HEMS flying is challenging but hugely rewarding. Together, we work as a team to get the aircraft as close to those in need, as quickly and safely as possible – by day or by night.”
Tom Helliwell
KSS Pilot
Why do you fly a helicopter?

When every second counts, it’s important to get our specialist doctors, paramedics and treatments to the patient as quickly and as safely as possible. This aircraft means we can keep treating the patient all the way to the hospital, and travelling by air significantly reduces the time it takes between the incident and our patients receiving onward specialist care.

“For our sickest patients, it really is as simple as the shorter the time to those two things – high quality resuscitation and care at scene and transfer to a specialist centre – the better their outcomes and the greater their chance of survival. ” – Doctor Duncan Bootland, Medical Director

Our helicopters fly at around 1,000 feet above the ground in our local area.

When somebody needs critical care, every second counts. That’s why when the call comes, we aim to be airborne within five minutes during the day and in around 15 minutes at night (when additional flight planning is required).

Our Rapid Response Vehicles (RRVs)

When circumstances prevent us from flying, our four Rapid Response Vehicles mean we can still provide specialist life-saving care by road.

With our four specially-equipped Rapid Response Vehicles (RRVs), our skilled crew are always ready to respond. Our paramedics, who have specialist training, drive these vehicles. Equipped with blue lights and sirens, the vehicles ensure quick navigation through traffic, allowing us to respond to emergencies when flying isn’t possible.

Our vehicles carry the same lifesaving equipment as our aircraft so that we can deliver the same level of care by land and air.

Key stats

"Driving the Rapid Response Vehicles is different to driving an ambulance. The distance we drive on blue lights is much further compared to the average distance responding in an ambulance as we cover the whole of Kent, Surrey and Sussex.
We are able to travel at higher speed and undertake additional training to be able to adapt our driving style to make sure we reach the patient safely but as quickly as possible." 
Callum Smith
KSS Paramedic
Why do you use the Volvo XC90s?

Much research was undertaken when making a choice of vehicles to use as response cars for KSS. We have used Volvos for over 10 years and find them safe, efficient, reliable and practical for our use. The Volvo XC90 is used by several Emergency Services in the UK for these reasons.

Whilst we cannot transport a patient to hospital via our RRVs, our crew will travel with the patient in the back of an ambulance to provide the same level of lifesaving care and ensure this continues all the way to hospital.

The Rapid Response Vehicle and the helicopter carry the same equipment to ensure we are able to deliver the same level of care whether we are responding by land or by air. There are a few key pieces of equipment we share between the car and the helicopter. Our crews take these with them to when they are called out.

Find your fundraiser

We are almost entirely dependent on donations, and our fundraisers play a vital role in helping us save lives when every second counts. Whether you join a challenge or host your own event, your support will save lives.

Would you like to hear more?

If you'd like to learn more about KSS and find out about our lifesaving work, meet our patients, learn from our crew and hear from our fabulous fundraisers, then you can sign up to receive Mission Update, our regular supporter newsletter!

Saving lives when every second counts

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