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The spotlight shone on the UK’s 39 helicopter air ambulances as the nation marked Air Ambulance Week last week.
On average, a charity-funded air ambulance takes to the skies somewhere in the UK every 10 minutes – flying potentially life-saving care to the scene of serious illness or injury.
Here in Scotland, the country’s only charity-funded air ambulance service – Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance (SCAA) – has been providing vital emergency pre-hospital care since 2013.
Its helicopters, based at Perth and Aberdeen, have responded to thousands of life-threatening emergencies in every corner of Scotland and its many islands, treating patients at the scene and rapidly airlifting them to hospital care.
SCAA is now reaching out to the patients whose lives the charity has saved or improved and the many families whose lives have been impacted by the work of the dedicated crews.
The charity’s chief executive, David Craig, explained: ‘Each and every patient is special to SCAA and their welfare is important to us.
‘No one tells of the work we do as powerfully and emotively as our patients. Their often harrowing yet uplifting personal experiences are a testament to the daily life-saving efforts, professionalism and commitment of our crews as they battle to overcome distance, time constraints, challenging weather, difficult terrain and life-threatening injury and illness.
‘These stories are what inspire the people of Scotland to get behind SCAA and fund our flights – their donations are vital to keeping our service in the air and patient stories are key in highlighting why there is that need.’
The theme of this year’s UK-wide Air Ambulance Week was ‘because every second counts…’ highlighting the critical impact that the speed of an air ambulance can have on a patient’s chances of survival.
In the past year, the service has flown to more serious incidents than ever before and flown more hours to reach those most in need.
‘The demands on SCAA’s service never go away,’ stressed David, ‘and the charity’s need of funds – particularly in these difficult times – never lessens.
Anyone helped by SCAA in the past who would be willing to consider sharing their story can, as a first step and with no obligation, contact email@example.com or telephone SCAA PR on 07778 779888 in confidence.