Scotland’s only charity-funded air ambulance relies entirely on public donations to continue saving and improving lives. Since the service launched in 2013, the charity has responded to well over 1,300 emergencies from Orkney in the north to the Scottish Borders. From their base at Perth Airport, SCAA can reach 90% of Scotland’s population within 25 minutes and to date the helicopter has flown the equivalent of more than four times around the world.
With each emergency response costing an average of £4,500, at least £2m is required each year to keep the helicopter airborne. A sobering statistic shows that one in 13 emergencies responded to by SCAA is equestrian related, highlighting the underlying bond between the sport of eventing and the work of the charity.
SCAA Chief Executive David Craig expressed his delight at the charity being selected as this year’s nominated charity partner: “Equestrian accidents account for eight per cent of our helicopter’s responses to time-critical emergencies all over Scotland. Riding accidents – by their very nature – usually happen far from the main road network, making it difficult to get land-based assistance to the scene. A helicopter air ambulance, such as SCAA, can make a critical difference – sometimes that between life and death.
“The equestrian community knows the value we bring to the emergency response network – particularly in remote and rural areas – and it’s very heartening and humbling to have such a prestigious event as the Blair Castle International Horse Trials recognise and support what we do. SCAA is pleased to have proved such an asset to the country’s riders and we’re very grateful for their support in helping to ensure we’ll be there in the future.”
Alec Lochore, Event Director of Blair Castle Horse Trials, added: “All those involved in equestrianism, in any form, recognise the importance of Air Ambulance services across the United Kingdom. By their very existence, they furnish peace of mind, and when needed they really do provide a frequently life-saving service when time is of the essence.
“We are delighted to be working with SCAA this year, promoting such a worthy cause; one which everyone who lives and works in, or visits, Scotland could at any time need to call upon.”