Speaker Alfie Ingram – SCAA – 25 April

Last week, forty-plus members and partners were treated to excellent hospitality and cuisine by the hospitality staff and students at Ayrshire College’s welcoming and comfortable Westerly restaurant. Full marks to them all.

Prior to the meal, we were treated to a humorous and wonderfully illustrated presentation by Alfie Ingram of Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance. Alfie had travelled from Dundee to speak to us and, as far as his audience were concerned, it was a trip well worth the making.

Alfie explained to us, in his easy-listen style, the operation of the two EC135 helicopters (one in Aberdeen and the other in Perth) which SCAA fly in Scotland (Helicopter Emergency Medical Service, HEMS, fly the other two). These are leased from Babcock and SCAA’s team of 18 run the organisation from a control centre in Glasgow which takes emergency calls via 999. Take-off is normally within 5 minutes of receiving a call. Today’s aircraft are lighter and more-technically equipped than before so, together with the rapid response times and the highly-trained paramedics, SCAA’s life-saving trips can save vital minutes in getting ill or injured patients to hospitals. Two rapid-response land vehicles operated by SCAA contribute to their efforts in attending to a broad range of incidents. However, Alfie stressed, this also depended on good cooperation with all the other Scottish emergency services.

Every mission costs £3k and annual running costs (fuel and other consumables) exceed £1M.

Jimmy Begg gave the vote of thanks for a presentation which had captivated the audience.

***SCAA is a national charity which receives no statutory government funding, so relying entirely on donations from the public to fuel their life-saving flights.

Find out more about SCAA and donate at https://www.scaa.org.uk/ .***