Wiltshire's new £5m air ambulance has flow its first emergency mission.

The dedicated Bell helicopter went into service today and was called out this morning.

@WiltsAirAmb tweeted: "Helimed22 is tasked to her first HEMS call out, an emotional moment for us here at the unit. Best wishes to patient."

The helicopter left its base at Wiltshire Police HQ in Devizes shortly after 11am to attend a collision between a Mitsubishi pick-up truck and a HGV at a slip road off the A417 near Cirencester in Gloucestershire, arriving in 11 minutes. 

The patient, a 26-year-old man, was trapped in the Mitsubishi and Wiltshire Air Ambulance (WAA) Critical Care paramedics Richard Miller and Ross Culligan worked with land ambulance paramedics to treat him.

Firefighters freed him and he was flown by Wiltshire Air Ambulance, piloted by George Lawrence, to the Great Western Hospital at 12.40pm - a journey time of five minutes - for treatment to head and arm injuries.

Richard Miller said: “The patient was trapped in his vehicle for over an hour and had a head injury, arm and leg injuries.

"The speed of the aircraft meant the patient was at hospital quickly. We were pleased to assist our land ambulance colleagues in treating and transporting the patient.

“It was great to be part of the first team that went up in the new air ambulance that is quicker and bigger than the previous one.

“It is a purpose-built ambulance and we now have everything we need to help the patient at our fingertips."

The air ambulance was tasked to attend a medical incident in Trowbridge shortly before 3pm but had to abort the mission seconds after taking off due to poor visibility caused by low cloud.

WAA paramedics were deployed in a rapid response vehicle to assist a land ambulance crew.

The Bell 429 is the first dedicated air ambulance the county has had, having shared an aircraft with the police for the last 24 years. It costs about £6,850 per day to keep the leased helicopter flying which can reach anywhere in the county within 11 minutes.