WILTSHIRE Air Ambulance has two days left to raise £12,000, to secure new and essential equipment.

The charity is currently taking part in the Big Give Christmas Challenge, in a bid to raise enough funds for four state-of-the-art ventilators.

The equipment is vital for critically injured patients and casualties who stop breathing, and if enough money is raised the new ventilators will be based in the charity's Bell 429 helicopter, two of its rapid response vehicles and another will be used for training and as a back up.

Ben Abbott, critical care paramedic and operations officer at Wiltshire Air Ambulance, said the new equipment will provide patients with "the best possible chance of survival".

He added: “Our current ventilators are several years old and lack certain features that would enable our paramedics and doctors to provide the best possible care to patients.

"They cannot be used on children and instead we ventilate children by hand by using a paediatric bag valve mask.

“The ventilators we want to purchase are a more sophisticated model which can adapt to the individual requirement of patients, including children."

The sum needs to be raised by midday on Tuesday, December 10, which will then be doubled to £24,000 through matched funds pledged by businesses and trusts.

Wiltshire Air Ambulance fundraising manager Des Regan added: “The new ventilators will enable our critical care paramedics and doctors to continue saving lives.

"We have taken part in the Big Give Christmas Challenge for several years and thanks to our generous supporters this has enabled us to pay for critical care skills training for our paramedics, purchase ultrasound monitors, purchase training manikins and associated simulation equipment and for the Flight Room at our airbase in Semington.”

Other local charities taking part in the scheme include Alabare and Julia's House.

For more information and to donate to Wiltshire Air Ambulance visit the Big Give website.