Part of working for Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance (SCAA) is playing the part of the -sometimes reluctant – poster boy or girl.
Whereas Scottish Ambulance Service paramedics are allowed to be camera shy, the country’s newest helimed crew need to enjoy pressing the flesh with those who keep their aircraft flying.
But while the Aberdeen crew, marking a year in the job, might be wary of media attention, they say they are desperate to show its dedicated legions of fundraisers and fellow emergency service workers around their Dyce base.
Covid-19 robbed the public of the chance to get a close up view of SCAA’s kitted out yellow EC 135 T2E ahead of beginning its operations – and it has continued to deny anyone but essential staff access to the hangar at Aberdeen airport.
It is a frustrating wait for pilot Pete Winn, who can’t wait to meet and greet those backing Helimed 79 in person.
Mr Winn said: “It’s so important to us to give back to the people who provide the money and to be able to show them the aircraft and what we do first hand.
“It is going to be great to give thanks to the public and I am looking forward to be able to do that.”
And for lead paramedic, Ewan Littlejohn, every day without with chance to show emergency colleagues the capabilities of the new service adds to the frustration.
He said: “We have had so many requests from other teams – mountain rescue, police, firefighters – and the public.
“We are eager to get them in as it will be really good to show off what we’ve got here and will also help to educate our counterparts in road ambulances as to what we can do as well.”
Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance has made a huge impact since 2013, saving lives and preventing suffering.
That is why the P&J campaigned successfully for Scaa’s second helicopter to be based in our region.
It has now been a year since the aircraft – call sign Helimed 79 – started flying missions from Aberdeen Airport.
But this is an emergency service that relies entirely on donations.
Each call-out costs about £2,500 and SCAA needs P&J readers to help hit its £6million target to cover the cost of its first three years operating in the north-east.
So please do anything you can to raise those funds and show that We’re Backing Helimed 79.
Ways to donate to SCAA
- Website: www.scaa.org.uk/donate
- Text: Text ‘SCAA’ and the amount to 70085
- Phone: 03001231111
- Cheques: Made payable to ‘SCAA’ or ‘Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance’ and sent to: Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance (SCAA), The Control Tower, Perth Airport, Scone, PH2 6PL