The Yorkshire Air Ambulance’s team leader for Scarborough is urging people to donate funds to the lifesaving charity after it was revealed it faced a 38 per cent increase in its daily running cost.
The charity, which receives no direct government funding, helps hundreds of critically and seriously injured people in North Yorkshire each year.
Up until now it has needed £7,200 every day to keep its two helicopters in the air, but rising fuel prices, aircraft maintenance and other charges have seen the daily running cost soar to £9,990, which is the equivalent of £3.6million each year - up from £2.6million.
Jean Dixon, the charity’s team leader for Scarborough, Whitby and Filey, said it was vital now, more than ever, to support the air ambulance.
“You just don’t know when any one of us is going to need this service. We have got pretty good support in Scarborough but many people don’t seem to realise we have got more than one air ambulance,” she said.
“They already a lot cost of money to run and unfortunately we now need more. You never know when a helicopter is going to need maintenance and it’s not like fixing a car, you could be talking £50,000.”
Mrs Dixon, who has volunteered for the air ambulance for 11 years, stressed that the charity relied completely on donations from the public.
“Residents in the town bring in money and donate items to the charity stall in Scarborough Market Hall but we could always do with more support, particularly now,” she said.
Last year the Yorkshire Air Ambulance attended a total of 933 incidents, and in turn transported 431 patients directly to hospital for treatment – up from 376 patients the previous year.
Among the incidents were airlifting a train driver to Hull after he had a heart attack at the wheel of a commuter service between Scarborough and York.
Confidence Yorkshire Air Ambulance will continue
Despite the latest challenges, the charity is confident that it will continue to provide its emergency help with the help of Yorkshire people.
Peter Sunderland, Yorkshire Air Ambulance (YAA) chairman, said: “We have not been immune to the challenging economic environment over the last few years and as a result, are seeing a major impact on our running costs.
“The charity is extremely aware that we would not be able to fund the running of the YAA without the help and support we receive. Every day we are overwhelmed by the amazing support that is show towards the charity.
“We are confident that we will be able to meet the new daily running cost of £9,990, and with the support of the people of Yorkshire, we can continue to provide a state of the art, rapid response emergency service 365 days per year.”