Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance have announced plans to launch a second charity-funded helicopter. Chairman of Trustees John Bullough made the announcement in Holyrood Park in Edinburgh and fundraising has now begun to find the £6m it will cost to keep the helicopter operational for an initial three-year period.
John was a driving force behind the launch of SCAA back in 2013 and the introduction of a second helicopter means the charity can “help save and improve even more lives in Scotland”. Since launch, Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance has attended more than 1700-time critical emergencies and in April they extended their operating hours to 12 per day. The launch of a second helicopter will now enable the charity to double the number of missions it does and come to the aid of the people of Scotland much quicker.
It is a very exciting announcement for Scotland, which has been backed by the Scottish Ambulance Service and Scottish Government.
David Garbutt, Scottish Ambulance Service Chair, who spoke at the announcement said: “Today marks an exciting next step for both the charity and the Scottish Ambulance Service’.
Pauline Howie, Scottish Ambulance Service Chief Executive commented “Air ambulances can save vital time in responding to patients particularly across remote and rural parts of Scotland, and a second helicopter from SCAA will bring additional resilience and capacity to our fleet to help those most in need”.
Shona Robison, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport said: “A second SCAA helicopter will make a huge difference, particularly in the more rural and remote areas of Scotland.”
Tower Lotteries Area Manager Billy McLaren and Head of Operations Richard Wild were honoured to have been invited to the announcement. Income from the lottery run by Tower represents SCAA single biggest r
evenue stream and membership numbers have grown tremendously in the last 2 years. This has been down to the hard work and commitment of Billy and his team on the ground, several of whom have represented the charity since it launched. The news of a second helicopter has been warmly received by the fundraisers and they will now begin the task of generating money towards helping to fund its arrival.