Sussex Air Ambulance

Saving lives

By Jennifer Drury

Relies on voluntary donations

Sussex Air Ambulance is a charity which receives no government or National Lottery funding and relies almost entirely on voluntary public donations. It was launched on June 8, 2007 and so far this year the helicopter has flown more than 400 missions.

Photo:Sussex Air Ambulance Team

Sussex Air Ambulance Team

Sussex Air Ambulance

The ‘Golden Hour’

The twin-engine MD902 aircraft flies fast, direct and un-hindered and can reach the furthest part of the county within just 20 minutes – saving time, saving life. This allows patients to be treated within the so-called Golden Hour which can mean the difference between life and death.

Roadside open heart surgery

Using their specialist skills, the Doctor and Critical Care Paramedic on board have even performed open-heart surgery at the road-side. Common call-outs include road accidents, cardiac arrests, industrial and farm accidents and falls from a height. In the event of Grade A emergency the helicopter has priority clearance to fly through Gatwick airspace.

Photo:Sussex Air Ambulance Team

Sussex Air Ambulance Team

Sussex Air Ambulance

Always close to an A&E

Wherever it lands, the helicopter is never more than seven minutes away from an A&E hospital or a maximum of 38 minutes from the regional trauma centre. On average the helicopter flies two to three missions a day but can sometimes be called out as many as six times, maybe more.

Running costs

It costs £1.7m a year to keep the helicopter airborne. The helicopter flies during daylight hours for up to 12 hours a day between 7am and 7pm in the summer but the charity is working towards providing a 24-hour service.

For more information or make a donation visit www.sussexairambulance.co.uk.

 

This page was added on 20/09/2010.

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