AN AIR ambulance pilot who landed on a Whitnash estate was told he ‘could not park there’ by a housing saleswoman.
The air ambulance had been called to under-construction Mallory Grange at around 1.30pm on Sunday (January 28) following reports of a man who had suffered a cardiac arrest.
But when the crew touched down they were greeted by a saleswoman for Persimmon Homes who told them not to park there.
Onlooker Michael Bunting, who witnessed the incident, told the Observer he was shocked and lodged a complaint with the company.
He said: “We saw the chopper and wanted to get a picture as these guys do a great job.
“While on the site a second air ambulance had to land.
“These guys are professional pilots. They take everything into account when landing. It’s second nature to them.
“For a saleswoman to obstruct the crew getting to the emergency is appalling.
“And when the crew couldn’t get through the fencing she told the crew not to pull it out.
“It took myself and a few other bystanders to lift the fence to get the crew through. At this point she is still giving the crew hassle about where they have landed.
“Every second counts and Persimmon Homes should have assisted wherever they could instead of obstructing.”
But Persimmon Homes say the saleswoman was doing her job and putting safety first.
Central region director Neil Williams said: “Health and safety is of paramount importance on all of our sites and we take it very seriously. At no point would any of our staff obstruct the emergency services, however, it is critical that our staff raise any concerns for public safety.
“The air ambulance landed on a working construction site that was closed to the public and while we understand that was necessary to access the patient our staff observed that the landing area, which was a locked off area, contained hazardous materials that needed to be re-secured in order to prevent public access or any danger to existing residents.”
But Jason Levy from the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity said safety is a top priority.
He told the Observer: “We appreciate Persimmon Homes’ concern, and the safety and welfare of the public and the patients we attend is always our first priority.
“When attending those in critical need of an air ambulance, the highly skills pilots select appropriate landing sites with extreme care, in line with the Civil Aviation Authority’s regulations.”
The victim was eventually taken to hospital in Coventry by land ambulance.