In January 2016 London Air Ambulance (LAA) invested in their second air ambulance to cover the Greater London area. This was made possible by the fund raising efforts of companies and individuals around London, but in no small part to the generosity of London Masons. We raised a staggering £2.1 million.
Here are just some of the ways that the operation of a second helicopter has impacted their work over the past two years:
Increased aircraft availability for London
If someone has fallen from height or under a train getting a doctor and paramedic team to their side as quickly as possible can be the difference between life and death, recovery or life-long disability. When a helicopter is available, LAA can be at a patient’s side up to eight times faster than in a rapid response car.
Having two helicopters to use enables the LAA team to reach more patients by air during periods of maintenance and supports the extension to their daylight flying operation during the summer. LAA is achieving 99% aircraft availability for the first time in it’s history and last year, benefitted from the equivalent of 58 extra days of helicopter coverage. LAA now have the opportunity to reach hundreds more critically injured patients by air each year.
Increased major incident readiness
By having a helicopter available at all times the capital has greater resilience in the event of a major incident. LAA’s second helicopter and an additional trauma team were on-standby to assist at the Grenfell Tower disaster earlier this year.
Enhanced training opportunities: Having a spare helicopter available means that LAA pilots can keep up-to-date with Civil Aviation Authority training requirements and conduct in-house training without compromising aircraft availability for London.
A recent brand review found that two thirds of people in London are not aware that LAA are a charity. LAA are using our off-duty helicopter to raise awareness of the charity through community engagement and media opportunities.
Mark Vickers, Chairman of the Board of Trustees wrote, “On behalf of the London’s Air Ambulance team and our patients, I would like to convey a ‘heartfelt’ thank you to London Freemasons for your immense contribution of over £2.1 million to the work of London’s Air Ambulance. Without your truly exceptional support, the Charity would not have been in a position to bring a second emergency medical helicopter into service in January 2016.”