Hertfordshire air ambulance campaigners sign helicopter deal
PUBLISHED: 10:01 24 August 2008 | UPDATED: 22:12 26 October 2009
AIR ambulance campaigners are celebrating a major milestone - the signing of the contract for Herts' own aircraft. The event is the culmination of months of hard work for volunteers and supporters of the Herts Air Ambulance Appeal. Rob Forsyth, trustee of
AIR ambulance campaigners are celebrating a major milestone - the signing of the contract for Herts' own aircraft.
The event is the culmination of months of hard work for volunteers and supporters of the Herts Air Ambulance Appeal.
Rob Forsyth, trustee of Essex & Herts Air Ambulance Trust, said: "The campaign for an air ambulance in Hertfordshire has reached a most important stage; for the first time ever, we'll soon have our own helicopter to help saves lives throughout our county.
"The generosity of the people of the county and the hard work of the team behind the campaign has made this possible.
"Everyone involved should be very proud of their contribution, however big or small.
"But this isn't the end of the campaign to raise money: it's more like the end of the beginning!
"We have only been able to commit to this service for one year and even then, it's a leap of faith that the funds will continue to come in.
"We must continue to fundraise, to generate an income of £80,000 per month.
"Once the service is up and running, we can look at extending it beyond the trial period and then extending the operational window.
"To do this, we'll still need the help of the people of Hertfordshire."
The aircraft, an MD 902 Explorer, has been leased from Medical Aviation Services Ltd (MAS) a UK distributor for MD Helicopters specialising in emergency services air support.
The contract to lease the aircraft was signed by Mr Forsyth and Henk Schaeken, managing director of MAS.
Cliff Gale, air operations manager for the trust, said: "We have leased the MD Explorer for an initial period of one year.
"The aircraft will be fully equipped for all of the vital air ambulance work we will be undertaking in Hertfordshire.
"We are very pleased to be working in partnership with Medical Aviation Services for the future of the Herts Air Ambulance and are looking forward to the official launch of the service later this year."
Nigel Lemon, sales director for MAS, said: "We are truly delighted to be working with the Herts Air Ambulance team and helping to launch a dedicated air ambulance service for the people of Hertfordshire."
The Herts Air Ambulance is scheduled to go into service in the autumn of this year.
It will initially run on a five-day-a-week basis and its crew will include a specialist doctor and paramedic.