Night flights make costs soar

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From left: Robert Holland (club president), Chris Longfield and former club president Chris Fairman

Chris Longfield is no stranger when it comes to addressing Rotary clubs to explain the need for funding of the Kent Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance Trust. For the second time in 18 months Chris gave guests and members of the Rye & Winchelsea Rotary Club an update of the latest advances and improvements to their service which is now in its 25th year. Throughout England there are 18 different air ambulance services, but none it seems as innovative and professional as our local organisation.

With trauma cases and physical violence on the increase, KS&S Air Ambulance receives up to six or  seven call-outs per day at an approximate cost of £3,500 each time. With helicopters based both at Redhill in Surrey and Marden in Kent, more than 1,000 emergencies were dealt with during 2013. Patients were often ferried to major treatment centres such as The Royal London Hospital and King’s College Hospital in about 25 minutes.

Having raised further cash, KS&S Ambulance is now saving lives by night as well as in daylight and consequently the number of call-outs is now over 2,000 per year, which increases standing costs to around £7 million per year. As one of Rye Rotary’s nominated charities it will benefit from the recent Rotary Fun Cycle Ride and the Air Ambulance Trust can look forward to further financial help when final monies are calculated. Former club president Chris Fairman thanked Chris Longfield for revisiting the club and explaining in great detail the aims and objectives of this worthy and indispensable charity.

Photo: Derick Holman