New Air Ambulance For Hampshire And The Isle of Wight

A new air ambulance for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight has come into service, replacing the old one, which has been flying and saving lives for three years.

The charity's been called out nearly two and a half thousand times in the past year and Chief Executive John Perry says they needed a more up to date helicopter to cope with the demand.

The new helicopter is costing over a million pounds a year to run, which is a big increase on the previous one, but after today it'll also be able to go out at night.

John tells Heart: "The air ambulance really does make a difference but running a helicopter is not cheap. Our former helicopter cost us £92,000 a month and our new helicopter will be £110,000 a month - and that all has to come from charitable donations."

"We have only been operating for just over three years and in that time we have flown over 2,470 missions and many of those are life saving."

He also says although it looks the same, it's got some new features:

"It has an additional seat in the back so that if we pick a mother she can now go with her child; if we pick up a patient in the forest,  the partner can now accompany the patient to hospital."

The new helicopter, like the one before it, is funded entirely by donations from the public so the charity still needs the support of the community to keep the Air ambulance in flight.

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