24-May-2023 Source: Scotland's Charity Air Ambulance
Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance (SCAA) marked its 10th anniversary, reflecting on a decade of life-saving service to communities in every corner of Scotland.
Since May 22, 2013, the charity has responded to nearly 5,000 call outs, raised over £50 million and flown nearly half a million miles, saving thousands of lives and impacting on thousands more, particularly in remote and rural areas.
In 10 years, the charity has grown from a one aircraft service at Perth to a two-helicopter fleet based at Perth and Aberdeen, with two Rapid Response Vehicles responding to nearby emergencies. It has more than doubled the crew numbers, extended its operational hours, developed its workforce and built an army of nearly 200 volunteers nationwide.
SCAA’s first mission was to airlift Tricia Mackenzie, seriously injured when her car swerved to avoid a deer and left the road near Dunoon on May 23, 2013. Their arrival turned a two-hour road trip to hospital into a 12-minute mercy flight.
Now, crews are responding to an average of three emergencies every day, sometimes as many as 12, with Tricia’s words from 10 years ago proving prophetic:
“SCAA is an absolutely brilliant addition to Scotland’s life-saving resources, and I have nothing but praise for the pilots and paramedics who crew it,” she said at the time.
“This helicopter and it’s amazing team will save a lot of lives in Scotland and I’m so glad they were there for me during what was a terrifying experience.”
SCAA is fully integrated into the 999 emergency response network, deployed by the Scottish Ambulance Service special services desk to serious illness and injury anywhere in Scotland and its many islands. A vital part of the country’s chain of critical interventions, SCAA receives no Government funding and is supported entirely by public donations.
SCAA CEO David Craig reflected on the efforts of all those who have played a part in the charity’s growth and success story over the past decade, making SCAA’s distinctive helicopters a regular sight in our skies and the charity one of the most respected and best known in Scotland.
“From the visionaries who turned an idea into reality; the frontline crews who work tirelessly to fly paramedic and critical doctor-led teams to emergencies; our Board of Trustees who govern the charity and set its strategic direction; the charity team who promote and deliver many activities and drive SCAA forward; the volunteers who help maintain a public profile; right through to the businesses, trusts, foundations, organisations and individuals whose never-failing generosity has sustained our service even through the most challenging times – the country owes them all a huge debt of gratitude,” he said.
“As we mark our 10-year milestone, we thank everyone involved in ensuring those most seriously ill or injured have paramedic or doctor attention as quickly as possible and are airlifted to advanced hospital care in the fastest possible time,” added Mr Craig.
SCAA was shocked by the sudden death of its chairman John Bullough earlier this month and Mr Craig dedicated the charity’s milestone anniversary to his memory.
“John was one of the visionaries behind the founding of the charity and he would be first to recognize the contribution of all those involved during our first decade,” he said.
“He always described SCAA as ‘The People’s Helicopter’ – funded by the people of Scotland, for the people of Scotland and we will continue that legacy, with the public’s support, into the future.”