The Scottish Charity Air Ambulance (SCAA) has seen its busiest year yet since starting back in 2013, they saw a 31% rise in deployments across the country.
They operate two helicopters which respond to urgent medical needs from all over Scotland as quickly as possible, they can reach 95% of the population within thirty minutes.
SCAA’s Chief Executive, David Craig, said: “It’s been our most busiest since our launch, one of the reasons for this is the launch of our second air ambulance out of Aberdeen, so we’ve responded to four hundred and sixty call outs, the length and breadth of the country.
“Which is a thirty-one per cent increase on the previous year, aided by the introduction of a second air ambulance, and whilst there’s been a slight dip in demand over lockdown there’s been nonetheless and need for the service.
“And I think that’s been represented by the number of call out’s that we’ve attended to throughout the country. They range from very serious trauma cases, which really amount to the majority, around about half, and the same with road traffic collisions. In addition to you’ve still got your strokes, industrial accidents, agricultural accidents particular falls that, for the elderly, can be quite traumatic and life threatening in some respects as well.”
During 2020, the team spent over 461 hours, flying critical ‘pre-hospital care’ throughout Scotland’s mainland and surrounding isles.
In total, SCAA visited 13 hospitals during 2020, reaching as far as Orkney and Newcastle in their responses.
And their support is made well known by people in Highland Perthshire and the rest of the country because of the lifesaving work that they do.
Mr Craig explained: “And people donate to us, not because they’ve either used the service but they know that we’re here if it ever has to happen to either them or friends and family. So, we hear a lot of that now.
“And we used to have a feeling within the charity that somebody would know somebody who’s been airlifted by us. Now it’s I know somebody, or I have been airlifted, or I have benefited by that service.”
However, as a charity, their funding comes from the public supporting them since they don’t receive any statutory funding from the government.
Mr Craig added: “Since 2013, the great Scottish public really have funded us, they have kept us flying, and I think over that time we’ve raised thirty million pounds.
“So, we get a lot of support from the public, a lot of support from the communities and from businesses and other organisations who really understand, value and appreciate the service that we provide. We find this remarkable; we find it quite humbling in some respects.”
And there’s many ways in which people can show their support, the charity runs a weekly lottery which with ‘as little as a pound’ supports the charity an offers the chance to win a sum of money.
Many people also directly donate all year round which helps keep the charity in the skies.
More information about their life saving work can be found on: https://www.scaa.org.uk/