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Flying Into The Future

Scotland's Charity Air Ambulance thanks Postcode Lottery players after new partnership announced
Air We Go: David Craig, chief executive of Scotland's Charity Air Ambulance, being presented with a bumper cheque by Judie McCourt at our latest Postcode Millions event in Perth

THE head of Scotland's Charity Air Ambulance hailed a £300,000 boost for the life-saving service from players of People's Postcode Lottery, then declared, "This will help us fly into the future."

David Craig, chief executive of SCAA, was presented with the bumper cheque at a special winners' event in Perth and kicks off a new long-term partnership with the charity.

Players have already raised more than £1.15 Million for SCAA over the past five years. But this announcement - awarded by Postcode Care Trust - comes just as the Perth and Aberdeen-based crews recorded their busiest ever year with more than 1,000 call-outs.

Mr Craig said, "We have been very fortunate that Scotland's Charity Air Ambulance has been supported by players of People's Postcode Lottery for a number of years now.

"This money will enable us to continue funding for the life-saving service, effectively going out and saving people in their most traumatic time of need.

"We are a charity that doesn't receive any government funding. We are wholly reliant on public donations and support from players of People's Postcode Lottery just to sustain the service.

"We now need just about £7.5 Million every year, so the money we receive today will go a long way towards that."

He added, "This enables us to look ahead. We've just had the busiest year in our history and demand is increasing.

"As a service, we're here to stay, but in order for us to stay we need the ongoing support. The continuation of that support will enable Scotland's Charity Air Ambulance to fly into the future."

To The Rescue: SCAA chopper sets out on a mission

SCAA first took to the skies in May 2013, flying time-critical missions to those seriously ill or injured anywhere across 30,000 square miles of mainland Scotland and 100 inhabited islands.

Since then, SCAA has responded to around 5,800 call-outs from Orkney to the Borders and the Western Isles to the east coast saving countless lives and providing life-saving pre-hospital emergency care.

Crews, based at Perth and Aberdeen Airports, include 12 paramedics seconded from the Scottish Ambulance Service and four pilots on two EC135 helicopters, leased from Babcock Mission Critical Services Onshore.

They are online 12 hours a day, 365 days a year and can be airborne in less than five minutes after receiving an emergency call - and can reach 90-per-cent of Scotland's population within 25 minutes.

Last year, they took to the air a record 718 times - marking a three-per-cent increase on the previous year. A further 230 responses were made by SCAA in their Rapid Response Vehicles.

Mr Craig said, "We launched in Perth 11 years ago and have now responded to around 6,000 emergency call-outs. In the last 12 months we had the busiest year in the history of the charity with over 1,000 call-outs.

Out In The Field: Crew deals with an emergency in a rural location

"We are effectively a life-saving charity covering all areas of Scotland, responding to road traffic collisions, cardiac, stroke - all those types of emergencies which require immediate expert care to the scene of an incident, treat the patient and then rapidly transport them to hospital for further care.

"We're a link in a whole, complete chain within Scotland. Thousands of lives have been saved thanks to so many people supporting with the donations we have received. It has now been £60 Million that has been raised, which is just phenomenal.

"It is a complete life-saving service. Those remote and rural communities which we serve - this is the lifeline for them. Whilst a road ambulance may well get there, an air ambulance is quicker actually being on scene and getting that patient to hospital.

"Sometimes a land journey can take 40 to 50 minutes, but an air ambulance can get you to hospital probably within about 10 to 15 minutes."

Heli Help: Team care for a patient

"When we talk about the golden hours, that's critical to people's lives so it brings that advantage and so much care to the scene of an incident as well."

The long-term commitment was announced at our April Postcode Millions event at South Inch Park, in Perth, on Saturday 27th April.

Mr Craig thanked players for their continued support and said it was crucial, especially during tough fundraising periods.

He said, "In the last few years we've had a global pandemic, we've maintained that service throughout all that time. The money we have received from players - over £1 Million in the last five years - helps continue with that service when funds become difficult to raise due to lots of external factors.

"We're solely reliant on those public funds. To get that ongoing support from players is just a wonderful thing to have."

Making A Difference

People's Postcode Lottery players are helping deserving causes like Scotland's Charity Air Ambulance make a difference every single day. Read more about the range of Charities that our players support.

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Published: 03/05/2024

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