Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance (DSSA) has played the starring role in a new Haynes manual.

Not only does the Haynes Air Ambulance Manual look into the operation of the AW169 air ambulance helicopter used by DSSA, it also features an extended case study on the workings of DSAA and the equipment and systems it uses.

Haynes has also confirmed a donation will be made Air Ambulances UK, a national charity, for every copy sold.

The book, written by Claire Robinson and produced with the full cooperation of DSSA, is being released to mark National Air Ambulance Week which runs from September 9-15.

DSSA chief executive officer Bill Sivewright said: "We jumped at the chance to be involved with this essential Haynes manual which will really help educate the public about how we work not only in the region, but across the UK.

"Most people in the UK will think they have some concept of what an air ambulance is however, in reality there is much more to it than the uninitiated might expect. Probably the most common misconception is that the service is not funded as part of the NHS.

"While the typical reaction to this is surprise, or even outrage, I hope this book reassures people that the charity funding model has fostered innovation and enabled air ambulance services to develop in ways that wouldn’t have been possible within the public sector."

Although air ambulances are now a familiar sight in the skies, they have only been operating in the UK since 1987. When the air ambulance was first introduced, its main advantage was the speed at which it could reach a patient and airlift them to hospital. Now, most air ambulances carry a team of highly trained clinicians who can begin treatment at the scene – effectively bringing the hospital to the patient.

Author Claire said: "We wanted to go behind the scenes and would like to extend our thanks to the DSAA and Claire for helping us to deliver this fascinating insight into the running of these helicopters and the vital role they play in delivering life-saving care.

"It has been a pleasure to work with DSAA on this book, and in doing so we hope to further raise awareness of this important charity at a local level.”

This new manual from Haynes explores the history of the UK air ambulance services and looks into the development of the network and the funding of each service. Readers can read first-hand accounts from air ambulance crew, along with case studies from some of the patients the crew have treated. In true Haynes style, the manual features technical diagrams of the Leonardo AW169 helicopter used by a number of air ambulance services, and photographs of each of helicopters used by the various services throughout the country.

Haynes will donate 75p to Air Ambulances UK for every book sold. The charity supports the life-saving work of the nation’s 21 air ambulance services.

The book also features a foreword from DSAA Ambassador Jenson Button and is available to buy from the Haynes and Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance websites and several other online retailers.