Insight into life-saving, yet costly, air ambulance

MEMBERS of the HUCKNALL AND DISTRICT UNIVERSITY OF THE THIRD AGE (U3A) group were flying high after their July meeting.

For the guest speaker was a fundraiser for the life-saving Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance.

The talk was accompanied by some excellent slides, including some of the including the equipped helicopter, actual rescues and members of the crew.

The air ambulance is based at RAF Waddington in Lincoln, which is a central location for the 3,000 square-mile area which it covers.

But even though this is a vast area, the ambulance and others around the country are always on standby to help other rescue teams who might be dealing with a major crisis that would require several helicopters.

The cost of equipping the helicopters is up to £5 million — with the cost of the helicopter itself on top.

But the organisation receives no external funding and must rely on donations and money from fundraising done by volunteers, many of whom have been the subject of rescues by the air ambulance.

Several owe their lives to the service after being saved and transported to the nearest hospital within minutes. The air ambulance can reach awkward places an ordinary land ambulance would never be able to access.

The crews do a sterling job and can be called out as many as 18 times in a single weekend.

The speaker also stressed that the air ambulance doesn’t have a landing base at either Nottingham City Hospital or the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham despite promises that one will be provided.

The meeting concluded with a flurry of questions from members eager to find out more.

The next U3A meeting is next Wednesday (August 10) when the speaker will be Pete Davies with an offering entitled ‘A Comical Look at Past Holidays’.