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HELP Appeal Covers Cost of New Fire-fighting System at Manchester University Hospitals’ Helipad

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HELP Appeal Chief Executive, Robert Bertram, handing over a cheque for £615,000 to the Manchester Royal Infirmary Charity.

The HELP Appeal, the only charity in the country to fund vital infrastructure for hospital helipads, is funding the installation of a Deck Integrated Fire Fighting System (DIFFS) at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust’s new helipad, which is due for completion by end of 2018.

The £615,000 donation covers the third £250,000 installment from a total of £1million pledged by the HELP Appeal, towards the hospital’s state of the art, new helipad and the additional £365,000 to incorporate DIFFS, which is cutting-edge technology that can extinguish a fire quickly and effectively, protecting the helipad and hospital, ensuring the safety of those on deck and avoiding the need for a hospital evacuation.

The equipment incorporates a series of nozzles which are integrated into the helipad and spray water and foam. It can put out a fire within 15 seconds, allowing air ambulance crew to continue treating and transferring a critically ill or injured patient to the emergency department as quickly as possible.

In addition, DIFFS will also enable cost savings for the Hospital Trust as it reduces staffing costs by removing the requirement for on-site firefighting teams. These savings can then be allocated to other life-saving services.

Robert Bertram, Chief Executive of the HELP Appeal told Charity Today“The HELP Appeal is keen for helipads across the country to have this state-of-the-art technology in place to ensure the highest level of safety whilst enabling the hospital to save money. Manchester University Hospitals’ helipad will now be one of the safest in the country.”

The new Helipad will be the first of its kind in central Manchester, serving a number of the Trust’s hospitals including Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, Manchester Royal Infirmary and Saint Mary’s Hospital, which are all based on the Trust’s central Manchester site. Located on the roof of the multi-storey car park on Grafton Street, the new helipad will be connected to the hospitals by a high-level link bridge and roof top corridor.

Sarah Naismith, Head of Manchester Foundation Trust Charity added: “We’d like to extend a big thank you for this generous funding from the HELP Appeal. The funding will ensure the upmost safety on our new helipad, so our hospitals are equipped to quickly and safely control a situation in the event of a fire. HELP Appeal’s donations have been integral to the success of our Helipad Appeal and we are delighted to have their continued support.”

Work is now underway on the new helipad, with construction due to complete by the end of 2018.