27 March 2015, 07:17
The Chancellor of the Exchequer has visited Norwich Airport to officially announce £1.7 million for the East Anglian Air Ambulance.
It follows George Osborne's pledge of £10 million announced in this year's Budget towards running air ambulance services across the country.
The money for EAAA will allow it to buy a new Airbus EC 145 T2 helicopter, improving coverage for Norfolk and Suffolk as well as Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire.
The new helicopter, which will be based in Norwich and be part of the regional 999 emergency response service, will also have a longer flying range and capacity for extra crew members.
East Anglian Air Ambulance is one of the first night helicopter emergency medical service operations for the UK. Since the charity's launch in 2000, the dedicated medical crews on the charity's specially equipped helicopters have attended to over 16,000 people across the region.
During the Chancellor's visit to Norwich, he met members of the critical care team including the doctor and critical care paramedics. He was also shown the charity's existing helicopter, an EC 135 T2 aircraft.
George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer, said: "Air ambulances play a vital role in saving lives both here in the East of England and across the country as a whole.
"I was delighted to be able to announce £1.7 million of additional funding for a new helicopter for the East Anglian Air Ambulance Charity at the Budget.
"This funding comes from fines levied on banks, and it's only right that funds from those who demonstrated the worst values should go to those, like the brave air ambulance crews, who demonstrate the best of British values on a daily basis."
Alastair Wilson, Medical Director for EAAA said: "Funding to source a second EC145 T2 for the East Anglian Air Ambulance is absolutely marvellous news for the charity, and for the people of East Anglia.
"The new aircraft will greatly enhance the lifesaving service we provide across the region through its increased capacity and endurance. I would like to thank all those involved with EAAA's grant application for their support."