London Lantern

Putting the Spotlight on London

London Air Ambulance Launches a 24 Hour Service

23/01/2008, By

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Thanks to generous donations and fantastic fundraising efforts, London's Air Ambulance (LAA) service has launched a new 24-hour weekend rapid response service that will save even more lives during the hours of darkness across the capital.

A familiar sight in the London sky, the LAA's helicopter and distinctive rapid response cars on the streets have responded to over 18,000 incidents of trauma since it was founded in 1989 but what most people don't know is that LAA is a registered charity, tasking a helicopter during daylight hours and a rapid response car service during the hours of darkness.

Up until now it has not had the funds to run the car service at night over the crucial weekend period. With each day costing the service almost 5,000, donations and fundraising have allowed LAA to commit to providing a service across the entire weekend. The extension of the service should allow LAA to respond to many incidents of trauma each weekend.

Based at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, LAA was set up to deal with major trauma incidents that need to be treated immediately at the scene. It prides itself on the speed and efficiency of the service and takes no more than 15 minutes by helicopter to reach any accident within the M25 orbital, bringing a Trauma Doctor, a Paramedic and vital surgical equipment to the scene.

Andrew Cameron, Chief Executive of the London's Air Ambulance Charity, said: "The extension of this service is essential for the safety of all Londoners. Many trauma incidents occur on Saturday nights and it is only right that a dedicated trauma response unit is on hand to help these people. We are so grateful for all the support that the service has received in order to make this possible".

Facts about the LAA:

1. The London's Air Ambulance completed 1,374 missions in 2007, including 420 road traffic accidents and 174 stabbings
2. London's Air Ambulance responded to over 8.5% more incidents on trauma in 2007 compared to 2006
3. The London's Air Ambulance serves approximately 10 million people within the M25
4. The London's Air Ambulance travels across the skies of London at 175mph and 1,500 feet
5. The London's Air Ambulance can land in any space twice the length of the helicopter

For more information about the LAA and how you can make a donation, please visit their Website or email Christine Margettts.

Images - Matthew Bell Photography

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