04:56AM, Sunday 15 September 2013
A life-saving air ambulance which relies on public support has been boosted by a £1,000 donation from the Louis Baylis (Maidenhead Advertiser) Charitable Trust.
The Thames Valley and Chiltern Air Ambulance Trust (TVACAA), which celebrates its 15th anniversary next year, serves the east Berkshire area by treating and rushing injured patients to hospital as quickly as possible.
The helicopter, which is based at RAF Benson in Oxfordshire, provides a vital service which has helped saved thousands of lives but can only do so with the generous support of the public and trusts like Louis Baylis.
"I think people are still quite surprised to hear we are a charity. We are not Government funded," said head of fundraising Sarah Williamson.
"In the last four months we have treated more patients than we have in the six months prior. The demand for our service is increasing more and more."
On average, the helicopter is flying three times a day at a cost of £2,500 per mission.
The cash from the Louis Baylis trust, which donates thousands of pounds to good causes in Maidenhead and the surrounding area, was used to go towards a state-of-the-art ultrasound machine for the helicopter, which can test for life-threatening conditions before the patient reaches hospital.
It is part of a growing policy to 'bring as much of the hospital to the patients as possible' which also saw the introduction of on-board doctors last year.
It also hoped the service, which currently has 12-hour coverage, will eventually be able to run 24 hours a day.
"We say no matter who, no matter where. We'd love to be able to say no matter who, no matter where, no matter when," said Sarah.
"We just wouldn't exist without donations. We wouldn't be able to be here and we wouldn't be able to fly."
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