On Wednesday 10 September, as part of a day visit to the weald area, The Bishop of Dover, the Right Reverend Trevor Willmott, joined the Vicar of Marden, Reverend Ali Duguid, for a tour of the Marden site of the Kent Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance.
During the visit Bishop Trevor met with Chief Executive Adrian Bell, to understand the lifesaving work done by the charity.
Mr Bell spoke to the Bishop about the integral role played by the Air Ambulances in protecting people in the South East of England. He explained that the state of the art Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) aircraft operates from bases in both Marden and Redhill, attends to over 2000 emergency calls a year, and runs 24 hours a day. The crews can get almost anywhere in the area in under 20 minutes and can offer a standard of care which is normally only available in the resuscitation area of an emergency department. “We bring the emergency department to the patient” Mr Bell commented.
Mr Bell also spoke about his hope to invest in a larger helicopter, which would allow a bigger crew and easier access to the patient on board. The charity is independent from the NHS and relies almost entirely on public donations.
During the visit Bishop Trevor expressed his special gratitude for the work done by the team at Kent Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance. He told the paramedics and pilot he met: “I was airlifted after a road accident on the M1 some years ago. I owe people like you my life.”
After the tour Mr Bell commented: “It was a real pleasure to welcome the Bishop and to show him what we do here. It was especially interesting to hear that in the past, he himself has had need of an air ambulance. He has an obvious respect and value for the service and an understanding of its importance to the community.”
There will be a service in Canterbury Cathedral to celebrate the 25 years of service by Kent Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance Wednesday 27 May 2015.
Photos show: Bishop Trevor with medical crew and pilot from Kent Air Ambulance.
Further information from:
Emily Shepherd, Director of Communications, Diocese of Canterbury: 01227 459 401, 07876 210 446, firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes for Editors:
To Donate to your air ambulance go to http://www.kssairambulance.org.uk/give/online or text HEMS to 70300 to donate £1.