Eastbourne Lions Club has signed up to a partnership with the Sussex Air Ambulance which will help save even more lives at night in 2013.
In launching their public appeal, Lions Clubs in the South East have pledged to raise £250,000 over the next 10 years which will help the charity to achieve its aim of night flying.
The funds will be a significant contribution towards the additional £1 million a year which is needed to allow the Air Ambulance to extend its operations.
Air ambulance chief Adrian Bell said, “Lions clubs have been long term supporters of the air ambulance for many years.
“This is a major step forward in forging a path to operating by night and potentially saving many more lives each year.”
The air ambulance currently operates two helicopters with two crews working from 7am–7pm.
But early next year the charity will replace one of its aircraft with a newer helicopter with night flying capabilities which will allow the charity to operate after dark from the charity’s Redhill base.
The specialist doctor and paramedic crew take to the scene of serious medical emergencies, the type of skills normally only found in a hospitals A & E department.
Howard Lee, chairman of the SE Lions Night Flying Appeal Steering Committee, said, “For quite some time, Kent Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance Trust has done a wonderful job during daylight hours reaching out to those in distress and bringing life-saving medical help as quickly as possible.
“Lions Clubs across the four counties have been more than pleased to assist over many years.
“Now we are proud to be able to act as one of the main catalysts to expanding the air ambulance service to cover the hours of darkness as well, bringing help to around 700 more people each year.
“Through this initiative, we feel we are making a difference; indeed we feel that this really is Lions clubs saving lives.”
If you need any further details about Eastbourne Lions Club, visit www.eastbournelions.net or telephone 0845 833 2705.