The Great Western Air Ambulance Charity has created a five point guide to what to do if you ever see their helicopter trying to land.
It follows several incidents over the years when the crew's landing has been delayed by bystanders.
They say while it can be an exciting thing to witness, their doctors and paramedics attend to emergencies in all kinds of locations – meaning that the pilot could have the very difficult job of landing in a park or a street.
In such cases, they say while they welcome your interest, the pilot, doctors and paramedics on board the helicopter are concerned for your safety.
As such they're asking for your help to ensure that the helicopter can do its job by landing and getting to the patient in need as quickly as possible.
Some of the emergencies attended by the GWAAC team can, quite seriously, mean life or death in a matter of minutes, so every second really does count.
With your help, working with the GWAAC team, you can ensure you are doing your bit to help make the process of landing the helicopter and getting to the patient goes as smoothly as possible.
Their five steps to helping a safe landing are as follows:
- Move to the edges of the area you're in, be it a field or road, so the pilot has a clear space to land.
- The helicopter creates a strong down wash, so hold on to your children, dogs and any loose items you have with you.
- When the helicopter is coming into land cover your eyes, to protect them from any debris.
- Make sure not to approach the helicopter until the blades have stopped turning and the pilot has left the aircraft.
- Finally, when you see the helicopter taking off, make sure not to approach the area that has been vacated until you see the helicopter in forward flight and is well clear of the landing site in case the helicopter needs to abort the take off.
The short and simple tips can help keep you safe and can give confidence to the paramedics and doctors that they are ready and able to do their job of getting to that patient as quickly as possible and attending to their immediate care.