As mentioned in my last blog post about our AGM 2016, we have formed the beginning of a partnership with Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance (SCAA). We figured that one or more of the 1350 students we’ll have trained by the end of our first year, are quite likely to make the emergency call that calls the SCAA out. And that likelihood will only increase as we train more students.
A visit to the organisation’s base at Scone Airfield near Perth, confirmed our suspicions, and we’ve decided to support the charity as much as we can.
The visit was also a really interesting exercise; chatting to the paramedics and being shown around the helicopter and the kit that they have on board. We were particularly interested to know what information we can pass onto our students that might really help the team when they arrive at the scene of an emergency.
One is obvious, and something that we try to emphasise anyway, but will do so even more from now on:
Location, Location, Location. The organisation reckons that around 1/2 of emergency callers that they are dispatched to respond to, don’t know exactly where they are!
Another less obvious piece of advice that became apparent was more specific to being rescued by helicopter:
Once you’ve identified a landing zone, don’t stand in it! The team told us that very commonly, people on the ground try to wave the helicopter in, right down on top of them. In the clarity of a non emergency situation, it’s easy to see the mistake here, but it’s a common one none the less. Identify a landing site, and crouch to the side, well clear.
Some interesting statistics that we learned on the day:
These flight times are very promising, however it’s important to note that the Charity’s helicopter is not Search and Rescue equipped, so does not have a winch, and can only land on level ground. However it can reach remote locations very quickly.
What is also interesting is the types of incidents that the team have been called out, this table just shows the first quarter of 2016, with Cardiac Arrest being clearly the most common cause of call out.
The story of the Charity is a very interesting one, but the statistic that has stuck in my head is that it costs around £6000 a day to run the charity and keep the service going! A scary amount of money to raise, and something that is completely without government funding.
We hope you agree that Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance is an organisation that is providing both a vital service to Scotland, and is very worthwhile supporting. With that in mind we’re going to be promoting them on our courses as much as we can. If you would like to know more in the meantime, take a look at the SCAA website, or SCAA Facebook page, and find out how you can help.