East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA) has launched an ambitious plan to become a 24/7 helicopter emergency medical service (HEMS) provider by 2020.
The charity - which responds to medical emergencies in Peterborough and Cambridgeshire - currently operates 365 days a year but not between midnight and 7am.
EAAA is aiming to cover this gap and become a full 24/7 HEMS service by 2020. To do that it needs to raise an additional £1 million a year to fund the operation.
The type of incidents the charity attend – serious road traffic collisions, cardiac arrests, traumatic injuries and other medical emergencies - do not stop when their crew go offline.
Matthew Jones, director of operations at EAAA, said: “Becoming a 24/7 service by air will provide the people of East Anglia with a service that has not previously been available. By operating 24/7 we believe that we will treat approximately 600 more patients every year.
“Patient care is at the heart of everything we do at EAAA, so if we can be there for 600 more people each year and further reduce the impact of trauma and medical emergencies in the community then this is a great step forward for us.
“We currently need to raise £12 million a year to operate our service, and it will cost an additional £1 million a year to fund a full 24/7 operation.”
To find out more about the campaign or to donate, visit www.mission247.co.uk. You can also follow EAAA on Facebook and on Twitter @EastAngliAirAmb.