Life-saving fire system to be installed on hospital helipad


HELP Appeal agrees funding for Deck Integrated Fire Fighting System at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust


The HELP Appeal is funding the installation of a Deck Integrated Fire Fighting System (DIFFS) at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust’s new helipad, which is due for completion by end of the year.

The £615,000 donation covers the third £250,000 installment from a total of £1m pledged by the HELP Appeal towards the hospital’s state-of-the-art new helipad and the additional £365,000 to incorporate DIFFS, which is cutting-edge technology that can extinguish a fire quickly and effectively, protecting the helipad and hospital.

The equipment incorporates a series of nozzles which are integrated into the helipad and spray water and foam. It can put out a fire within 15 seconds, allowing air ambulance crew to continue treating and transferring a critically-ill or injured patient to the emergency department as quickly as possible.

In addition, DIFFS will also bring cost savings for the hospital trust as it reduces staffing costs by removing the requirement for on-site firefighting teams. These savings can then be allocated to other life-saving services.

Robert Bertram, chief executive of the HELP Appeal, which aims to fund helipads at all major trauma hospitals in the country, said: “The HELP Appeal is keen for helipads across the country to have this state-of-the-art technology in place to ensure the highest level of safety while enabling the hospital to save money.”

The new helipad will be the first of its kind in central Manchester, serving a number of the trust’s hospitals including Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, Manchester Royal Infirmary and St Mary’s Hospital, which are all based on the trust’s central Manchester site.

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Located on the roof of the multi-storey car park on Grafton Street, the new helipad will be connected to the hospitals by a high-level link bridge and roof top corridor.