WILTSHIRE Air Ambulance has been awarded £240,000 to pay for extra paramedics.

The money is from the Libor Fund made up of fines imposed on banks that rigged interest rates and was agreed on Tuesday at a meeting with the Chancellor George Osborne.

The money will be used to pay for up to four new paramedics to work on WAA. Currently there are six Critical Care paramedics working on the helicopter, but with the charity now operating a dedicated air ambulance and with plans to re-commence night flying the clinical crew has doubled to two paramedics.

The charity is aiming for the air ambulance to fly at night starting from the end of May after the pilots and paramedics have undergone training using night vision goggles.

David Philpott, chief executive of WAA, said: “We are delighted that Wiltshire Air Ambulance has been awarded this funding. The additional paramedics will join our existing Critical Care paramedics, pilots and charity team in delivering a gold standard service to the people of Wiltshire.

“The announcement of the Libor funds award has happened rather quickly so I need to start a dialogue with South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust to agree the arrangements for the recruitment and secondment of these additional team members.

“We were told that we might get this funding. Having been in this business for a long time you learn to never count your chickens but we were hopeful.

"We wanted to find a way to recruit personnel and find a way to fund this without using money donated by local people and this funding will help with that.”