Second charity air ambulance launched at ‘crucial time’

The charity has raised £3m to fund the air ambulance but needs further donations.

Second charity air ambulance launched at ‘crucial time’

Scotland’s charity air ambulance (SCAA) has launched its second emergency response helicopter amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Based at Aberdeen International Airport, Helimed 79 will carry out life-saving work transporting patients to trauma centres.

The charity already has a helicopter at Perth Airport in Scone.

The helicopters will cover the whole of Scotland, working alongside two government-funded helicopters and two fixed-wing aircraft.

John Bullough, chairman of SCAA, said today’s launch was a major milestone.

“There’s never been a more crucial time for additional emergency pre-hospital care resources in Scotland,” he said.

“Being able to sustain one helicopter and fund a second is a remarkable achievement for everyone involved.

“During these difficult times, the demands on front line emergency services has never been greater.”

The charity has raised half of the costs needed to operate the helicopter.

It says it needs continued public support to meet its £6m target.

Chief executive David Craig said it was launching in “unprecedented and challenging times”.

“Our new helicopter will serve not only the north-east, but the whole of Scotland, as and when required during these difficult times.

“We hope the people of Scotland will continue to support our charity in the way they have for the past seven years, ensuring that SCAA is available to fly to those most in need.

Since launching in May 2013, the air ambulance has responded to nearly 2500 emergencies across Scotland.

It has a team of 11 paramedics, seconded from the Scottish Ambulance Service, and four pilots.

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