The launch of the north-east’s new air ambulance has been described as a “major milestone” for the charity behind it.
Staff at the new Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance (SCAA) base in Dyce start work today after Helimed 79, a newly-refurbished and upgraded aircraft, arrived last week.
Operator Babcock’s hangar has been transformed into a purpose-built base for the chopper.
Today we welcome the newest member of Scotland's 999 response, Helimed 79 joins as the 2nd charity air ambulance, based in Aberdeen she will support the Nth of Scotland communities and beyond. We all wish them well in their crucial role! Read more here: https://t.co/Qf6Au1ZQLw pic.twitter.com/lCB9gUI6kr
— Scottish Ambulance (@Scotambservice) April 3, 2020
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The launch of Helimed 79 was described as a “major milestone” by the charity’s founding chairman John Bullough.
He said: “There’s never been a more crucial time for additional emergency pre-hospital care resources in Scotland and SCAA is proud to be able to strengthen the country’s air ambulance fleet.
“Within seven years, this relatively young charity has been able to sustain one helicopter and then fund a second which is a remarkable achievement for everyone involved – not least the public, whose generous support funds our entire life-saving service.
“During these difficult times, the demands on frontline emergency services has never been greater and we hope the public will continue to support us – ensuring that, with the launch of Helimed 79, we can fly more care, more quickly, to more people wherever the need arises in Scotland.
“We wish Helimed 79, her long-serving stablemate Helimed 76 and their experienced and professional crews safe flying in the years to come.”
Tom Steele, chair of the Scottish Ambulance Service added: “Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance has proved a vital component in the 999 emergency response network, responding to nearly 2,500 emergencies since the charity launched.
“Working very closely with the Scottish Ambulance Service, SCAA has saved many lives – especially in the more remote and rural areas of Scotland – and a second helicopter will add very significant capability to the entire Scottish air ambulance fleet, bringing fast medical care to sick and injured patients as well as quick life-saving transport to hospital if required.
“Everyone in the country should be very grateful to SCAA for their massive fund-raising effort and to the Scottish public for their generous ongoing support.”
SCAA chief executive David Craig said: “The need for air ambulance resources in Scotland is proven and we stand ready to deploy Helimeds 79 and 76 as and when they are required by the Scottish Ambulance Service.
“Our new air response asset in Aberdeen will serve not only the north east but the whole of Scotland as and when required during these difficult times and into the future.
“We hope the people of Scotland will continue to support this life-saving charity in the way they have for the past seven years, ensuring that SCAA is available to fly to those most in need.”
Director of Babcock’s onshore business, Hayley Belmore, said: “It’s a real honour to be working with our partner SCAA to bring this brand new air ambulance service, Helimed 79, to Scotland.
“We are looking forward to helping SCAA deliver a truly lifesaving service to people and communities across Scotland.”