County raises enough money for own air ambulance helicopter
AN air-ambulance helicopter will soon be touching down in Herts after a year-long appeal has secured enough funds to start the service. The Herts Air Ambulance Appeal has smashed its target of £250,000 and has reached a total of £313,000, enough to secu
AN air-ambulance helicopter will soon be touching down in Herts after a year-long appeal has secured enough funds to start the service.
The Herts Air Ambulance Appeal has smashed its target of £250,000 and has reached a total of £313,000, enough to secure its own dedicated helicopter compete with an accident and emergency doctor and paramedic for an initial one-year period. The service will continue if demand and funds are sustained.
At present, the county shares a service with Essex but it is hoped that Herts will have their own by the autumn once a suitable tender is found as well as an airfield at which it will be based.
The new service will operate five days a week and will cost in excess of £700,000 per year so the public appeal, which was recently given a boost of £50,000 from the Gwyneth Forrester Trust, will continue.
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Rob Forsyth, trustee of Essex and Herts Air Ambulance Trust, said: "In just one year, the people of Herts have taken this campaign to their hearts. I'm amazed at the response that we have had and every donation made, large or small, has made a difference. My thanks go out to the men, women and children of the county who have helped us turn our dream into something tangible.
"Of course, this isn't the end of the campaign - in a way it's just the beginning. Now we have to keep the Herts Air Ambulance flying and to do that we all need to maintain our efforts. We can expand the service, for example to seven-day operation and next-generation aircraft - they're all are on our agenda when funding levels permit. Please keep up the effort - you never know when you'll need the help of the Hertfordshire Air Ambulance."
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John Scott of the East of England Ambulance Service Trust said: "It's a phenomenal achievement by the people of Herts to raise such a sum of money in such a short time and we're looking forward to working with the Air Ambulance charity to provide a first class service.