Orkney’s MSP Liam McArthur has welcomed confirmation by the Scottish Charity Air Ambulance (SCAA) that it plans to base its second helicopter, due to come into operation during 2019 at Aberdeen.
Mr McArthur has been a long-time supporter of the SCAA and the case for a second helicopter based in the North East. In a parliamentary motion lodged earlier this year, Mr McArthur drew attention to the benefits such a helicopter would bring to enhancing the capacity of the fleet, operated by the Scottish air ambulance service.
Speaking after the event in Aberdeen this morning, where SCAA made their announcement, Mr McArthur said:
“This move to increase the capacity of the air ambulance service is excellent news. he fact that the second charity helicopter is to be based in Aberdeen makes a lot of sense and hopefully will help improve response times across the north of the country.
“Over its six years of operation, the Scottish Charity Air Ambulance has responded to 1,880 time-critical emergencies across the country, including some in Orkney. This is an impressive workload, highlighting the contribution that SCAA already makes and the potential for it to help in saving and improving even more lives in the future.
“Communities in Orkney are particularly reliant on the air ambulance service, which is a genuine lifeline. Anything that helps improve response times and the service overall is therefore particularly welcome.
“I hope that the fundraising efforts of SCAA continue to prove successful and that we see this addition to the fleet as early as possible in 2019.”