In the event of major incidents, neighbouring air ambulances can be used to assist. To assess the potential benefit of this cooperation, three fictitious major incidents were described to emergency service dispatch desks to assess the availability and response times for neighbouring air ambulances. A medical infrastructure at each site could be in place in a shorter time when the mutual aid scheme was used. This short study demonstrates the increased availability of doctors and flight paramedics that can be achieved by cooperation schemes. The costs of such schemes are minimal where air ambulances already exist. Ambulance services can use this type of scheme rapidly to place a comprehensive medical infrastructure for major incidents.
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Competing interests: None.
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