2016 marks the 25th anniversary of the vitally important emergency pre-hospital service provided by Midlands Air Ambulance Charity.
Throughout 2016, supported by corporate partner, M6Toll, the charity will be running a series of events and activities to celebrate 25 years of air ambulance operations across the Midlands and the impact the charity has made on so many lives.
As one of the first air ambulance services in the country, named ‘Air5’ with just one helicopter flying out of a temporary airbase five days a week, Midlands Air Ambulance is proud of its heritage. The charity now has three helicopters serving a population of six million people, and to date the service has responded to over 43,000 missions.
To mark the launch of ‘Air25’, Midlands Air Ambulance Charity and M6Toll hosted an event at the RAF Cosford airbase, which was kindly supported by charity ambassadors, Lee Pearson CBE, Neil Back MBE, ‘Blind’ Dave Heeley and Mickey Bushell MBE.
Throughout the ‘Air25’ anniversary celebrations, Midlands Air Ambulance Charity will be hosting a number of commemorative events, including a prestigious garden party at Hagley Hall, where ‘Air5’ was first launched in May 1991.
In addition, Midlands Air Ambulance Charity is using its anniversary year to highlight how advances in clinical care and the extension of the service’s operations to 14 hours daily has lead to an increase in funding needed to maintain the life saving organisation. The charity now requires an additional £500,000 per annum to operate, meaning in excess of £7 million has to be raised each year.
Hanna Sebright, chief executive for Midlands Air Ambulance Charity, states: “Air25 will prove to be a very exciting year for the charity, and we are delighted to by supported by M6Toll throughout the celebrations.”
James Hodson, director of motorway operations at Midland Expressway Limited (MEL) says: “Midlands Air Ambulance Charity provides an invaluable service often making the difference between life and death for the thousands of people who need their help every year. So it is with great pleasure that M6toll are partnering with Midlands Air Ambulance Charity in celebration of their 25th anniversary.
“MEL has been a proud supporter of the Midlands Air Ambulance since the M6toll opened in 2003 and I’m delighted that M6toll will be its Air25 corporate partner, with this year’s contribution bringing the total amount donated to over £250,000. We look forward to continuing to work with the team as their Air25 partner to stage events and activities that will allow them to continue their vital work for many years to come.”
Hanna adds: “As a result of the long term, loyal support we receive from our volunteers, donors, fundraisers and regional businesses, we have been able to continue to develop our clinical expertise with our emergency services partner, West Midlands Ambulance Service, over the last 25 years. This includes increasing our doctor-led cover across the service, and to achieve our aspiration of 100 per cent advanced ‘critical care’ training for our flight paramedics, enabling them to use enhanced clinical techniques at the incident scene, inevitably helping to save more lives.
“But with three helicopters undertaking over 2,000 missions each year across 5,500 square miles, operational costs are ever increasing.
“We are extremely fortunate to have received support from the communities we serve over the past 25 years, and never take this commitment for granted. As our operating costs have risen to over £7 million, we rely on the public’s support and generosity more than ever as we start our ‘Air25’ anniversary year.”
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