Living the High Life With the London Air Ambulance
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On March 28 2014, one of our professional assistants in London was treated to a trip in the London Air Ambulance helicopter, enjoying the views over the city and an insight into the role that one of our local Touch charity partners plays in saving lives across London.
The assistant won the helicopter ride in our Red Envelope raffle held in February, and brought her sister-in-law along for the sunset journey. The helicopter is stored overnight in a depot in Northolt, west London, and the London Air Ambulance kindly agreed to let the raffle prize-winner hitch a ride from their helipad at the Royal London hospital back to the depot. This meant that the ambulance was effectively 'off-duty' when they took their ride across London.
But with the ambulance on-call until sunset every evening, our lucky passengers had to wait for their ride when an emergency call came in just half an hour before they were due to fly. The air ambulance duly sped north at 180mph to attend to a patient, while our passengers warmed themselves in the London Air Ambulance control center. They didn't have to wait long before the helicopter returned and took them for a dusk flight across London.
A week later, a group of students from Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School joined the London Air Ambulance at the Royal Hospital to meet members of the team and learn more about the life-saving work that they do every day.
The girls were awarded the visit by the charity after their hard work for the swishing event, held in January at Atlantic House, which raised over £1,000 for our Touch charities.
London's Air Ambulance fly around six missions a day, being called out to major trauma incidents around the city. They can reach anywhere within the area of the M25 motorway in approximately seven minutes. The students learned the process through which 999 emergency calls are screened by a specially trained paramedic waiting to see the right call for the air ambulance. The girls got the opportunity to see the helicopter return from such a mission and to meet the pilot and doctor/paramedic crew that were on call that day. The school have reported on what a fantastic opportunity this has been for their girls.