Why is is that those who run our air ambulance service think that we who live in rural Wales deserve second-class citizenship?

There can be no other way to interpret their inane decision to close the air ambulance bases in Caernarfon and Welshpool by 2026.

Do they not understand that the bases are needed here simply because this is an underpopulated and rural area, where roads are bad and hospitals few and far between?

On 23 April the NHS Wales Joint Commissioning Committee (JCC) made a majority decision to follow the recommendation of the Emergency Medical Retrieval and Transfer Service (EMRTS) to close both bases. The committee is made up of four lay members and seven Welsh health board chief executives. Of the seven health boards, only Powys and Betsi Cadwaladr refused to support the recommendations.

Campaigners say lives will be lost and the fight to overturn the decision has begun. A petition set up by Karl Ciz asks for a full public enquiry into the review to be conducted by Welsh Government. However if the decision stands, a rival service begin, as Tywyn campaigner Andy O’Regan explained.

“A full judicial review is a probable next step. This will be lengthy and costly, but will look into every aspect of this process from its very inception, leaving no stone unturned!

“The very reason we have an air ambulance is our rurality, to quote Stephen Harrhy [Chief Ambulance Services Commissioner] ‘Heli’s for Rural, RRV’s for Urban’, and this is the ethos we will continue to hold moving forward.”

An RRV is a rapid response vehicle, and they could replace the helicopters. Campaigners say this is disastrous given the rurality of the area and the type of roads they would travel on.

The disgusting element in all of this is the huge amounts of money raised by people and communities across this region over the years, money that was raised in good faith to ensure that the helicopters were able to take to the skies and save the lives of those who need the service at their darkest hour.