Stunning aerial images showing the work of the nation’s charity air ambulance have spurred fresh calls for a second life-saving helicopter to be based in the north-east.
Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance (SCAA) yesterday unveiled a series of images depicting its bright yellow copter at work over Stirling, to mark the ongoing National Air Ambulance Week.
The charity presently has one helicopter, which is based in Perthshire, but is in the midst of a huge fundraising drive to gather £6million for a second.
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Representations have already been made in favour of basing the second machine in Aberdeen once enough cash has been generated to cover its costs.
And last night, politicians from across the political spectrum said they hoped that the set of photographs showing the copter over sights such as the Wallace Monument would energise that effort.
North East Labour MSP, Lewis Macdonald, wished for the destination of the second helicopter to be announced “in the very near future”.
He added: “With Foresterhill about to take off as Scotland’s first major trauma centre in October, this would be a great time to commit to operating a new aircraft from Aberdeen.”
Scottish housing minister, and Aberdeen Central MSP, Kevin Stewart added: “National Air Ambulance Week is particularly important to folk here in the north-east where the brave work of their crews has been vital.
“I am right behind the campaign for a second helicopter to be based in Aberdeen and encourage anyone and everyone to donate what they can to this excellent cause.”
Orkney MSP, Liam McArthur, lodged a motion in parliament rallying support for the second charity air ambulance to be homed in Aberdeen and cited the benefits it would have for his constituents.
Last night, he said: “As Orkney’s MSP, I am acutely aware of how much the communities I represent rely on the air ambulance service.
“Without the contribution that the charity air ambulance provides, there is no doubt in my mind that the service would be greatly diminished and struggle to meet the needs of my constituents.”
Alexander Burnett, Scottish Conservative MSP for Aberdeenshire West, added: “A second charity air ambulance in Aberdeen would be a fantastic addition – not just to the north-east but also to the north of Scotland.
“The campaign has cross-party backing, and I hope that it will prove successful.”
SCAA, now in its sixth year, has responded to more than 1,880 time-critical emergencies throughout the whole of Scotland.
Throughout the country, an air ambulance helicopter is deployed every 10 minutes.