They already save thousands of lives a year.

Now Yorkshire Air Ambulance have unveiled plans for a second helicopter.

The state-of-the-art new Airbus H145 model will be in operation later this year.

The new helicopter will give the service the resilience it needs to provide a fast response and top quality care to patients in need.

YAA last year announced plans to replace their oldest MD902 aircraft with a more modern one, but plans to replace its other similar helicopter have now been brought in.

Chairman Peter Sunderland, formerly of Kirkburton, visited the Airbus factory in Munich, Germany, to see progress made on their first new helicopter. Since then it has been decided to negotiate purchasing a second.

Mr Sunderland said: “We are very much looking forward to welcoming our new helicopter to the UK later this year to provide the people of Yorkshire with an even better state-of-the-art service.”

Peter Sunderland, chairman of Yorkshire Air Ambulance

The second new helicopter is expected to cost around £5.7million and will come into use in Spring 2017.

It will offer a larger cabin area to treat patients en route, as well as updated equipment.

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Vice-Chairman of the YAA Bruce Burns said: “Over the last couple of years we have encountered record spending on maintenance and this has been one of the major contributing factors in our decision to purchase not just one new helicopter, but two.

“Both of the new H145’s will also be night capable enabling us to operate for longer hours which will be a massive benefit for the people of Yorkshire.”

The two current Yorkshire Air Ambulance helicopters, MD902 Explorers G-SASH and G-CEMS will have a phased retirement once the new aircrafts are brought in, before being sold for replacement costs.