Midlands Air Ambulance is the charity responsible for funding and operating three air ambulances serving the communities of six Midlands counties: Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Worcestershire and the West Midlands. This constitutes the largest air ambulance operating region in the UK. The charity also provides secondary cover to the surrounding areas, such as Warwickshire and mid Wales.
Since 1991, the charity has responded to more than 48,000 missions averaging 2,000 per year, 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 airbases, 90 per cent of the region is within reach within eight minutes.
If a patient reaches hospital within the Golden Hour (60 minutes after their injury) 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.
What is not widely known is that Midlands Air Ambulance receives no Government or National Lottery funding. Each Midlands Air Ambulance mission costs £2,500 and in excess of £7 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.
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 aircrew, but those often unsung ground heroes, its fundraisers.