Monday, 27 June 2011

Chris hails 999 crews in May Day rescue

A Whitfield man critically injured after falling from the roof of his home has spoken of his remarkable recovery just a month after the accident.

Electrical engineer Chris Killick, 47, was inspecting new skylights on his bungalow when he tumbled head first onto the concrete below.

He sustained a fractured skull, six broken ribs, a fractured left wrist, a badly-bruised back and was knocked unconscious.

His friend Gordon Ellinor was with him at the time and went to his aid before alerting Chris’s wife Sandra who dialled 999.

Chris said: “I had been working away for five weeks and came home for the May bank holiday weekend.

“The builders had been in fitting new skylights so I took it upon myself to get up on the roof and have a look at the work they had done.

“I was happy with it so I went to get back down but I can only assume that the steps weren’t quite level because they tilted and that was it, down I came.”

The fall happened at about 11.40am on May Day and land paramedics from the South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) were first on scene.

They called in the Kent Air Ambulance because Chris had a reduced level of consciousness and needed an emergency anaesthetic.

It took the helicopter just 15 minutes to get to Whitfield from its base at Marden, a journey that would have taken more than an hour by road.

Pilot Kevin Goddard landed in an agricultural field before Dr Tasha Newton and Critical Care Paramedic ran to the house in Archers Court Road.

Chris was then airlifted to the major trauma centre at King’s College Hospital in London where he underwent surgery to remove a blood clot on his brain which left him with 29 stitches.

He said: “My next memory was waking up in hospital three days later and seeing my wife and two close friends.

“I’ve been an electrical engineer for close to 30 years and spent a lot of my working life up and down steps but never fallen off. It was just an accident.”

Chris spent 10 days in hospital before he was allowed home and is still off work and unable to drive due to the effects of his medication but is expected to make a full recovery.

He added: “I would like to express my thanks to everyone at Kent Air Ambulance for the care I received and for the excellent service provided.

“The care I received from everyone from the land paramedics to the trauma team at King’s was absolutely first class.”

Dr Tasha Newton said: “Mr Killick’s recovery is testament to the whole medical team involved in his care.”

If you would like to make a donation to the Air Ambulance please call 01622 833833. Alternatively cheques can be made payable to Kent Air Ambulance Trust and posted to Wheelbarrow Park Estate, Pattenden Lane, Marden, Kent, TN12 9QJ 

 

 

Matt and Jake's charity adventure

Two childhood friends from Gravesend are cycling from John O’Groats to Lands End to raise vital funds for the life-saving Kent Air Ambulance.

Former Cobham Primary School pupils Jake Farrington and Matt Barnes, 21, set off from Scotland last week.

They endured two days of rain at the start of their 1,000-mile ride and had to replace their waterlogged tent before camping at Oban.

On Friday they were heading to the Isle of Arran and were due to arrive at Preston in Lancashire today (Monday).

Jake’s mother Denys said: “I’m extremely proud of them when I think of what a lot of youngsters do in their gap years and on holiday.

“They’re both 21 years old and instead of going somewhere like Ibiza they are doing this and raising money for such a good cause.

“It’s a bit of an adventure and they will be getting lots of enjoyment out of it because they love the great outdoors.”

Jake, a self-employed ground maintenance worker, was inspired to raise money for the Kent Air Ambulance after it was called out to his late grandfather.

Fred Farrington, 75, was playing golf at West Kingsdown when he suffered a cardiac arrest in December, 2004.

The helicopter was scrambled but Fred sadly passed away before the crew arrived. Ever since Jake has always put his loose change into a charity collection box.

Jake and Matt, a physics student at Exeter University, will be aiming to complete their challenge over 16 days, finishing in Cornwall on July 5th. 

 

Freight firm on the move with Air Ambulance

A haulage business will be helping to raise awareness of Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance by branding its fleet of vehicles with the life-saving helicopter’s logo.

Family-run Sussex Transport supplies a range of road haulage and warehousing services and has recently set up two new companies called Kent Road Haulage and Surrey Road Haulage.

As part of the expansion, the blue, green and orange colours of the Air Ambulance will now adorn the firms’ fleet of 20 lorries and vans.

The move will raise the profile of the charity as the vehicles cover more than a million miles in the UK each year – about 50,000 in Sussex alone.

Managing director Damian Pulford said: “Being in the haulage industry our drivers spend a lot of their time out on the roads.

“More than 40 per cent of the Air Ambulance’s call-outs are to road traffic collisions so it made perfect sense to support them in this way.

“I never realised it was a charity and thought it was funded by the government or National Lottery. This will help spread the word that it relies almost entirely on public donations.

“The advert will read that we are a proud supporter of Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance – your local charity dedicated to saving lives.”

Sussex Transport, based in Lancing, West Sussex, is sponsoring the charity’s first-ever Double 100 Bike Challenge this weekend (July 3rd) in which riders can still enter.

The 100-mile or 100km cycle ride starts and finishes at the Sussex and Surrey helicopter base at Dunsfold along a route route which includes towns and villages in all four counties covered by the Air Ambulance.

Sussex Transport will also be providing the charity’s bubblewrap which is needed to keep patients warm in the event of an accident or medical emergency.

Corinne Hitching, Air Ambulance Initiative Development Fundraiser, said: “We are extremely grateful to Sussex Transport on all three fronts.

“Having our logo on the back of their lorries will really help raise awareness that we are a charity and hopefully encourage people to support us.”

* For more information about the Double 100 and to register call Veronica Wiseman on 01622 833833 or email veronicaw@kaat.org.uk.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Air Ambulance recycling collections

Supporters of the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance are being warned to be aware of a door-to-door recycling collection service called Air Ambulance Service.

Representatives of the registered company are visiting homes asking for donations of goods such as clothes, toys and mobile phones.

Leaflets advertising the collections state: “We are working towards providing financial assistance to cover or reduce the cost of ground and air ambulance medical transportation for patients caught in difficult medical circumstances, having an unfortunate accident or illness in another city or country.”  However the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance wishes to make clear it has no association with Air Ambulance Service who are carrying out these collections.

Chief Executive Adrian Bell said: “I am not saying that the Air Ambulance Service is purporting to be collecting on our behalf, far from it, as its literature makes clear it is not associated with any HEMS service. However, I would like to make clear that the Air Ambulance Service is NOT a registered charity and we will certainly not benefit from any donation you make to them, so please do not think otherwise.”

The company also asks for unwanted shoes, handbags, perfumes, blankets and bed linen which it says will be recycled and re-sold.

In small print at the bottom it says Air Ambulance Service is not associated with any local Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) operators.

Textile banks are a genuine source of income for the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance but only at allocated venues.

If you would like to make a donation to the Air Ambulance please call 01622 833833.

Survivor runs for life-saving charity

A West Byfleet waitress is to run a half marathon to thank the Surrey Air Ambulance for saving her life after a road traffic collision.

Emma Osment, 25, was crossing Parvis Road on her way to the train station to go to University when she was struck by a car.

She sustained head and leg injuries and was given an emergency anaesthetic at the scene before being airlifted to the major trauma centre at the Royal London Hospital.

The Highfield Road resident spent four weeks in hospital before she was allowed home and will now be pounding the streets of London in Run to the Beat on September 25.

She said: “If it wasn’t for the Surrey Air Ambulance I most likely wouldn’t be alive today. They airlifted me to London where I was helped very swiftly by the trauma team there.

“I owe my full recovery and my life to them and I started running as part of my recovery. I’m remarkably lucky to be walking and talking.”

It took the helicopter 10 minutes to get to West Byfleet and a further 15 minutes to get to the Royal London following the accident in May, 2009.

Emma’s parents Peter and Briony were at Heathrow Airport at the time preparing to go on holiday when they were told what had happened.

They were given a police escort to the hospital and arrived at the same time as the helicopter where they kept a bedside vigil.

Mrs Osment said: “Emma had been stabilised at the scene and we saw her almost straight away when she arrived at hospital.

“She immediately went into A&E for about two hours then was taken to intensive care. When they took her off the ventilator she was struggling at first but it has come right now.”

Emma was studying an MA in Writing for Children at the University of Winchester at the time and now works as a waitress at The Anchor in Wisley.

She ran the London 10K in May and has so far raised £825 for the Surrey Air Ambulance which relies almost entirely on public donations.

She is aiming to raise a total of £4,000 which would effectively help to potentially save two lives as each mission costs between £1,500 and £2,000.

The helicopter carries a specialist doctor and critical care paramedic on board who can carry out advanced medical procedures at the scene, giving patients the best chance and quality of survival.

If you would like to sponsor Emma please visit www.justgiving.com/emma-osment. She will be joined by Jane Crump from Guildford who is also taking part in Run to the Beat and can be sponsored at www.justgiving.com/jane-crump.

Ferrari stars in charity drive

Two friends are spearheading a second charity drive for the Sussex Air Ambulance to help keep the helicopter flying.

Motoring enthusiasts Richard Grant, 33, and James Firth, 30, will set off on a 50-mile run through the Sussex countryside on August 7.

Last year, the pair completed a whistlestop tour of Air Ambulance bases in the UK and raised £1,700 for the life-saving charity which relies almost entirely on public donations.

Richard said: “We decided we wanted to do another drive but wanted it to be a bit more fun with people joining in driving through the Sussex countryside.

“The reason we want to support the charity again is that we fully appreciate the good work that the service does.”

A Ferrari 355, Aston Martin, Triumph Roadster, classic Volkswagens, old Minis and a Morris Minor will be among the 150 cars taking part.

The cars will set off from Shoreham Airport along a route taking in villages including Cowfold, Warninglid, Cuckfield, Lindfield and Newick.

The drive will finish at the Lavender Line railway which has kindly agreed to make a donation from every train ride on the day to Sussex Air Ambulance. There will also be a BBQ and a raffle.

Richard, from Haywards Heath works for East Grinstead based Seraph ISS, part of the TCF Group dealing in the investigation of insurance claims and James, from Crawley, works for Service Insurance in Hove as a claims negotiator.

Sussex Air Ambulance provides a Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) for everyone living, working and travelling through the county, 365 days a year.

The helicopter carries a specialist doctor and critical care paramedic who can carry out advanced medical procedures at the scene, giving patients the best chance and quality of survival.

If you would like to join the charity drive for a minimum entry fee of £10 each please search on Facebook for “The Sussex Air Ambulance Charity Summer Drive” or call Richard on 07540 785042.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance Open Day from the SELOC car club point of view

Despite the weather Andy and his team from the from the SELOC (www.seloc.org) car club enjoyed the Air Ambulance Open Day on Sunday. Team member Mark shot this video on the day!

Air Ambulance Open Day - June 2011 from mark holttum on Vimeo.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Paramedic wins Air Ambulance lottery

A retired paramedic from Tadworth has won the £25,000 jackpot in the Surrey Air Ambulance Superdraw.


Father-of-two Ian Radburn, 55, won the life-changing amount with lucky numbers 2, 6, 9 and 32 in last Wednesday’s draw.


He joined the charity’s lottery just nine months ago after a 27-year career on the frontline with London Ambulance Service at Sutton and New Malden ambulance stations.


Now he is planning to celebrate his win with a first-ever holiday to Canada to see relatives and friends and a trip to Ireland.


He said: “I’m absolutely delighted but it hasn’t really sunk in yet. I couldn’t believe it at first. It was such a shock and surprise.


“I signed up to the Superdraw because I used to be in the ambulance service myself. There were a couple of occasions when I attended an emergency and had to call in the helicopter.


“It’s an excellent cause and they do a marvellous job; saving lives every day. Any one of us may need them.”


Surrey Air Ambulance flying relies almost entirely on public donations and receives no National Lottery funding.


Profits from the charity’s own lottery provide valuable funds to operate a vital life-saving service for everyone living, working and travelling through the county, 365 days a year.


The team of highly-skilled medics can carry out advanced medical procedures at the scene, giving patients the best chance and quality of survival.


The regular lottery costs just £1 a week with a weekly prize of £1,000. For an extra £1 a week, members can join the Superdraw which has a top prize of £25,000. To join the Air Ambulance lottery please call 01622 833821.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Southern Water aims high for zero injuries

Photo: Kent Air Ambulance County Fundraiser Lynn Hyder, Southern Water Head of Health and Safety John Corden, Hampshire Air Ambulance Community Fundraiser June Leathem, Southern Water Charity Co-ordinator Kevin Buck and Sussex Air Ambulance West Sussex County Fundraiser Cheryl Johnson next to the Breitling Wingwalkers at the aviation day at Dunsfold Park.

Southern Water’s outstanding health and safety awareness record helped them to donate almost £5,000 to the life-saving Kent and Sussex Air Ambulance charity.

The firm employs 1,500 members of staff at its 420 Supply and Treatment plants and offices throughout Sussex, Kent and Hampshire.

Southern Water donated £14,000 to the three Air Ambulances covering the region which rely almost entirely on public donations, as part of its Aim for Zero Injuries initiative.

The cash was shared between the Kent Air Ambulance, its sister helicopter in Sussex and the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance.

Kent County Fundraiser, Lynn Hyder said: “Southern Water have been great supporters of us and we are extremely grateful to them.

“Our crew are frequently called to industrial accidents so it’s fitting that this money was donated as a result of such a proactive health and safety initiative.”

Southern Water Head of Health and Safety John Corden visited the Sussex Air Ambulance base at Dunsfold Park to present the cheques during an aviation day to mark the end of an aero-medical conference hosted by the charity.

Some of the subjects discussed during the four-day World Congress included safety management and reporting systems and findings from the European Helicopter Safety Team.

Mr Corden said: “We have never used the Air Ambulance and we hope we never have to but it’s nice to know that the helicopters are there if our staff or any of their family or friends ever needed them.”

If you would like to make a donation to the Air Ambulance please call 01622 833833. Alternatively cheques can be made payable to Sussex Air Ambulance and posted to Wheelbarrow Park Estate, Pattenden Lane, Marden, Kent, TN12 9QJ

Monday, 6 June 2011

Alvin Stardust at The Sun Inn

Veteran pop star Alvin Stardust, will cut the ribbon at the opening of a boules pitch at a Dunsfold pub tonight (Monday) to raise money for the Surrey Air Ambulance.

The glam rocker, famous for hits such as My Coo-Ca-Choo and Jealous Mind, will also be playing music at The Sun Inn at The Common.

The boules pitch has been built in the garden of the pub and will be a permanent fundraiser for the life-saving charity with customers paying £2.50 each for a game.

The official opening at 6.30pm will have a French theme, not only because of the sport but also because today is the 67th anniversary of the D-Day landings at Normandy.

Surrey Air Ambulance has been chosen as The Sun Inn’s Charity of the Year and will benefit from a number of fundraising events, including a Las Vegas Casino night on June 25 and the village bonfire night on November 5th.

Alvin said: “Surrey Air Ambulance is like our schools, they can’t survive on their own. We’ve go to support them, it has to be done.

“It’s like having sea rescue because we need these people, it’s the future. The more we get behind them the better it will be for all of us.”

The helicopter is based at nearby Dunsfold Park and flies with a specialist doctor and critical care paramedic on board who can carry out advanced medical procedures at the scene, giving patients the best chance and quality of survival.

If you would like to make a donation to the Air Ambulance please call 01622 833833. Alternatively cheques can be made payable to Surrey Air Ambulance and posted to Wheelbarrow Park Estate, Pattenden Lane, Marden, Kent, TN12 9QJ

Dorothy, 82, in tandem paraglide

An 82-year-old great grandmother is taking part in a tandem paraglide to raise vital funds for the life-saving Sussex Air Ambulance charity.

Retired chiropodist Dorothy Margison, from Eastbourne, will take off from 480ft-high Mount Caburn near Lewes on June 19.

The adventurous octogenarian came up with the amazing challenge to mark the second anniversary of her late husband Leonard’s death.

She said: “My grandson and I were talking about things we haven’t done but would like to do.

“I’ve already been around the world on a cargo boat and to the Rio carnival and paragliding was next on my list.

“If my husband was still alive he would say, ‘you can do it’. Everything I wanted to do, he always said I could do it.”

Dorothy, who has eight great grand-children, also has the support of fellow members of the Battle and Eastbourne Speakers Clubs including Dec Cluskey, founder of 60s band, The Bachelors.

She decided to raise funds for the Sussex Air Ambulance, which relies almost entirely on public donations and receives no National Lottery funding.

She added: “I thought that if I was launching into mid-air I might as well do it for charity. I may need the helicopter when I get to the bottom!

“Sussex Air Ambulance does great work and the hospitals are so far away now and there’s so much traffic the air ambulances are vital.”

Jess Cox is a senior instructor at Sussex Hang Gliding and Paragliding at Beddingham, where Dorothy will take to the sky.

She said: “We have a couple of elderly men in the club who fly, but we’ve never had a lady of this age that I can remember. It’s very rare and unique. She sounds like an amazing lady.”

The oldest female to paraglide tandem is Margaret Mackenzie McAlpine, from the UK, who was 100 years and one day old when she completed the challenge in Karaoglanoglu, Northern Cyprus, on October 31, 2007.

If you would like to make a donation to the Air Ambulance please call 01622 833833. Alternatively cheques can be made payable to Sussex Air Ambulance and posted to Wheelbarrow Park Estate, Pattenden Lane, Marden, Kent, TN12 9QJ.