Our region’s air ambulance service is the first in the country to operate a 24-hour service. The Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance, an independent healthcare provider funded almost entirely by charitable donations, flies about 1,500 missions a year. It believes that another 400-500 patients a year will benefit from its HEMS (Helicopter Emergency Medical Service).
Launching the service in December 2013, Adrian Bell, CEO of the charity, said: “Our focus is on getting our highly skilled teams with their time-critical interventions to the patient as quickly and safely as possible, not only to save life but also to improve the quality of survival.” He went on to thank the public for their generous support and to refer to the £250,000 pledge and major support from Lions Clubs in the south-east. The teams have a new MD902 Explorer helicopter and team members are equipped with specialist night vision goggles and helmets, partly financed by the Lions Appeal. Lions Clubs, including Rye Lions, will continue to raise funds for additional essential specialist equipment to enhance the night flying operations.