I’m consistently amazed at the enthusiasm, respect, and overall awareness our neighbors across the pond have for their local air ambulance teams.
In just the latest example I’ve happened to come across (albeit a couple days late), the BBC reported that about 100 cyclists rode their choice of 100 kilometers or 100 miles to raise vital funds for the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance Trust as part of The Double 100 Cycle Challenge.
Some participants of the event were air ambulance crew members and at least one former patient transported by the service. Coinciding with the popular event, the Kent, Surrey, and Sussex Air Ambulance just got a new MD-902 explorer helicopter to replace an older aircraft at one of their bases.
We can’t find yet how much the event raised, but according to a BBC article, the event raised 9,000 pounds (approximately $14,000 US) last year.
The Trust needs to raise about 1 million pounds (You don’t want to know how much that is in US dollars) to provide a 24-hour air ambulance service.
Great work for a great cause. Major kudos to all who participated in raising money for the charity!
Now, to brilliantly and subtly segue into this morning’s coffee-fueled observation/rant:
With absolutely no disrespect aimed at my fellow countrymen and women, there seems to be a clear differential between the public recognition air ambulance services receive in the UK versus here in the US. Indeed, the sheer quantity of news stories originating from all parts of the UK regarding air ambulance services says it all.
Perhaps it has to do with some differences in ideology and the financial systems by which air medical entities operate within our respective countries: air ambulances in the UK are typically fully funded by charities and seem to be perceived, at any rate, as the life-saving services they are rather than, conversely, as medical transport businesses often taken for granted — until they’re needed.
Again, this is not intended to put down any one on this side of the pond, but more to praise our neighbors who seem to always be organizing and taking part in creative fund-raising and awareness-raising activities to support their local services.
We’d love to hear and spread the word about upcoming activities to support the work of air ambulance teams all over the world. Have one? Leave a comment below or send us an email to let us know about it!
The question of the day: how can air ambulance companies in the US drum up more public awareness for the life-saving services they provide? Let us know your thoughts below.