The Midlands Air Ambulance is the only charity responsible for funding and operating three air ambulances serving the communities of Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Worcestershire and the West Midlands. This constitutes the largest air ambulance operating region in the UK.
Since 1991, the charity has responded to more than 40,000 missions averaging 3,000 per year or nearly ten each day, making it one of the longest established and busiest air ambulance organisations in the UK.
The charity’s three aircraft each carry a crew comprising pilot, two paramedics or flight doctors plus full life-support medical equipment. Operating from strategically located regional air bases, the maximum flying time to hospital from anywhere in the region is less than 15 minutes.
What is not widely known is that Midlands Air Ambulance receives no Government or National Lottery funding. In excess of £6.5 million is needed each year to keep its three Air Ambulances operational which is donated entirely by the public and local businesses, with four in ten of those we help funded by gifts in wills.
If a patient reaches hospital within 60 minutes of injury (referred to as the ‘Golden Hour’) their chances of survival are dramatically increased. That is why the rapid response of the Midlands Air Ambulance is so vital in an emergency situation.
The charity is fortunate to count on tremendous public support and good will, but never takes this for granted. Winning and keeping hearts and minds is an essential and constant challenge. That is why it regards the real ‘helicopter heroes’ as not only the flight and medic crews, but those often unsung ground heroes, its fundraisers.