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SCAA celebrates nine years saving lives from the air but needs help to continue

The Aberdeen-based Scaa team in front of Helimed 79 Pictured from left, pilot Jon Stupart, paramedic Laura McAllister, paramedic Chriss Doyle, lead paramedic Ewan Littlejohn, paramedic Rich Forte, paramedic Owen McLauchlan, and pilot Pete Winn
The Aberdeen-based SCAA team in front of Helimed 79. Picture by Graeme Hart.

Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance is highlighting the hard work of its life-saving crew as the charity celebrates its ninth anniversary.

Now responding to about 900 emergency callouts each year, SCAA has attended some 4,000 incidents since its inception.

Each rescue is made possible by the teams working behind the scenes, all of whom are fully funded by trustees, foundations and donations from the public.

The SCAA Week Appeal raises awareness of the important work the team carries out across the country, and urges people to donate so that it can continue.

The appeal asks people around the country: “Will you be there for them when we celebrate our 9th anniversary this SCAA Week?”

£2,500 per callout

The charity has two emergency response helicopter air ambulances – one based in Perth and a second in Aberdeen, which came into service in 2020.

The P&J backed the campaign to bring an air ambulance to the north-east, with a target of £6 million set to fund the launch.

Helimed 79 team in Aberdeen. Picture by Graeme Hart

Though the new helicopter has been in action for more than two years now, funds still need to be raised on a continual basis to ensure it can stay that way – with each callout costing around £2,500.

A spokeswoman from SCAA said volunteer numbers have surged in the two years since the charity launched its base in the north-east.

Teams who work in the sky work in partnership with medics on the ground to ensure everyone who needs rescued gets the best possible care.

‘We’ve given children the chance to grow up’

In its first year operating in Aberdeen alone, Helimed 79 was called out to 196 emergencies, the vast majority of which involved suffering from severe and traumatic injuries.

On the appeal page, SCAA highlighted the wide variety of incidents it deals with: “Over the last nine years, we’ve responded to almost 4,000 call outs, reaching people who have fallen down mountains and off horses, suffered from farm and industrial accidents, dog attacks, and car and motorcycle collisions.

“We’ve helped people to survive heart attacks, drowning and hypothermia. We’ve given children the chance to grow up and we’ve kept families together.”

As part of SCAA Week, the team has also put together a video revealing the people behind the charity.

‘The cost of our service is increasing’

Groups across the country are taking part in fundraising activities in support of the charity during SCAA Week.

Rising fuel costs have had an impact on the charity’s spending, making it more important than ever that people donate.

The charity said: “Last year as we emerged from lockdowns, we recorded our busiest year ever, with emergency call outs soaring well beyond pre-pandemic levels. In fact, our crews at our Aberdeen and Perth airbases were deployed 810 times in 2021 alone.

Crew onboard Helimed 79. Picture by Graeme Hart.

“Behind these numbers are the people we love – our family, relatives, friends, neighbours and colleagues. And it’s only because of you, our amazing supporters, who kept our charity in your hearts, that we were able to provide more care, more quickly to more people than ever before.

“But right now, the cost of our service is increasing. Fuel for our rapid response vehicles and helicopters is at a record high and the cost of emergency equipment and medical supplies continues to grow.”

You can donate to the SCAA Week appeal here.

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