The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance has been flying and saving lives for just under three years. In that time it has made huge strides to provide the very best service possible to the people of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. The Trustees are delighted to announce that, from September this year, the crew will be flying their new helicopter. This is a fantastic achievement for the charity in such a short length of time and shows the dedication and determination of the whole team - air crew, medical personnel, charity staff, trustees and, of course, the wonderful volunteers - to ensure that this vital life saving service continues to grow and prosper for the people of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.
Chairman of Trustees, Cllr Barry Lipscomb, said ‘Less than 3 years since we commenced flying, 2190 missions on, this is a major milestone in the development of the charity. Trustees are delighted to be able to upgrade now from our ageing but stalwart Bolkow 105 to a modern EC135 helicopter, which will greatly increase our operational capacity and the service which we can offer to the people of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. Their wonderful generosity and support keeps us flying 7 days a week, 365 days a year and they deserve the best.’
John Perry, Chief Executive of HIOWAA said ‘It is only through the generosity of the people of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, through personal donations, fundraising events, clubs, churches, schools and many more groups, that the charity is able to provide this service. HIOWAA receives no government or national lottery funding, and only receives support through the secondment of paramedics from the NHS, so we must ensure that our fundraising programme continues to grow. I encourage anyone who would like to be involved in this fantastic community service - by raising funds, becoming a volunteer or in many other ways - to get in touch with our Head Office. This is an exciting time for the charity so why not come and be part of HIOWAA?’ For further details please see our website www.hiow-airambulance.org.uk.
The details of the official launch of the upgraded Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance helicopter will be released at a later date.
HIOWAA provides air ambulance services across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight in response to emergency calls. Since the air ambulance became operational on 1st July 2007 it has undertaken over 2190 missions, many of which have saved lives, and is now flying seven days per week, being called to missions on average 4-5 times per day. HIOWAA receives no Government funding, and relies on the generosity of individuals and organisations to help save lives across Hampshire & the Isle of Wight. In fact as a charity we only receive help through secondment of paramedics from the NHS. To keep the air ambulance flying we need to raise over £3000 per day. This is only possible through the wonderful public support which equates to over £1.1 million per annum.
HeliHub.com comment - our article that Essex Air Ambulance are moving to the MD Explorer (HeliHub.com yesterday) could provide exactly the opportunity that HIOW Air Ambulance would take up. The Essex EC135 will be returned to Bond Aviation Services in June this year, and HIOW currently lease their Bo105 from Bond.
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