Coastal fall prompts milestone 6,000th call out for Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance

An emergency response to a holidaymaker who sustained leg injuries after falling 15 feet from a coastal path near St Abbs Head at the weekend marked the milestone 6,000th call out for Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance (SCAA).

The charity-funded life-saving service scrambled a helicopter air ambulance from its Perth base to the east coast emergency, landing on the beach at Broadhaven Bay close to the injured woman.

Working with colleagues from HM Coastguard land and sea resources, SCAA paramedics stretchered the woman to the waiting helicopter and airlifted her to specialist care at the Royal Infirmary Edinburgh – just a 20-minute flight away.

Russell Mackay, SCAA’s Operations Support Officer, said that while the St Abbs mission marked a milestone for the charity, everyone’s thoughts were with the injured woman.

“We’re so pleased SCAA was available to attend for what must have been a painful and anxious experience for the patient and her family,” he said. “Everyone at SCAA wishes her a speedy and full recovery.”

Russell highlighted the 6,000th call out as an important landmark in SCAA’s growth.

‘We launched in 2013 with one Bolkow 105 helicopter and responded to 289 call outs in our first year,” he explained.

“We have just completed our 11th and busiest year ever with over 1,000 call outs, showing the growing and continuous demand for our life-saving service.”

SCAA now operates two bases – at Perth and Aberdeen – with two larger H135 helicopter air ambulances and two Rapid Response Vehicles, crewed by a pool of 12 paramedics and four pilots.

“This significant milestone mission for SCAA – and the thousands of lives we have saved and impacted on positively over the years – is due entirely to the generous support of the public and the many trusts, foundations, businesses and organisations who recognise the vital service we provide,” said Russell. “We owe them all a huge debt of gratitude as we mark the 6,000 responses made possible by their donations.

“In those 6,000 responses, we have flown as far north as Fair Isle and south to Newcastle, west to the Outer Hebrides and all along the east coast, ensuring those most in need receive the best and fastest possible care.

“SCAA will continue to evolve in order to respond to those most seriously ill or injured, in every part of Scotland,” he added.

SCAA is a vital part of the 999-emergency response network in Scotland, working alongside sister services or on its own, particularly at more remote and rural locations.

“Our involvement at St Abbs Head was yet another example of our partnership working with other emergency responders in order to achieve the best patient outcomes and fastest delivery of care,” he said. “Whether operating as part of a multi-service response – or as the sole responder at an emergency – SCAA has proved invaluable to the people of Scotland and our 6,000th call out allows us a chance to reflect on the many we have helped and all who have helped us.”