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Taking Flight

09/03/2017 | General

When Pirtek Swindon’s Mark Cresswell was injured in a motorcycle accident almost two years ago, the Wiltshire Air Ambulance service helped save his life.   Now Cresswell’s colleagues have set themselves a target to raise £5,000 for the air ambulance service as a thank you.

Pirtek Swindon is running a huge charity fundraising raffle until 30th June 2017 to help it raise £5,000 for the Wiltshire Air Ambulance service.   In addition to being fellow inhabitants of Wiltshire, Pirtek Swindon and the air ambulance service share a bond.   “One of our team – Mark Cresswell – was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident almost two years ago.   And the rapid response and intervention of the Wiltshire Air Ambulance crew literally saved his life,” explains Pirtek Swindon Centre Manager John Kordula.   “Ever since then, we have been looking for a way to help repay them for saving the life of our colleague and friend.”

Operated as a charitable trust and providing helicopter emergency medical service (HEMS) in Wiltshire and the surrounding counties, Wiltshire Air Ambulance (WAA) began operating in March 1990.   Since then, the helicopter and crew have flown over 16,000 missions.   WAA is available up to 19 hours a day, 365 days a year and attends - on average - three incidents a day. These include road traffic collisions, cardiac arrests, strokes, child-related emergencies and horse riding accidents.

The service currently uses a Bell 429 helicopter, the only one of its kind being used as an air ambulance in the UK.   The aircraft has a top speed of 155 knots (178 mph) and a cruising speed of 150 knots (173 mph) allowing it to reach anywhere in Wiltshire within 11 minutes.

It costs the charity £3.25 million a year to keep the air ambulance operational, equivalent to £8,904 a day.   And the charity relies almost entirely on public donations to keep flying.

Pirtek Swindon’s John Kordula has called upon the help and assistance of friends and suppliers to put together a dizzying array of raffle prizes ranging from vouchers for a meal for two at a local carvery and cash prizes of £50 and £100 through a fully-equipped toolbox right up to British Touring Car Championship jackets and a BTCC race day for four people at the world-famous Silverstone circuit.

“We are funded almost entirely on public donations so the fundraising support of the public is absolutely vital to help keep us flying and saving lives. Without the donations and support of the people of Wiltshire, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do,” concludes the charity’s Partnerships Coordinator, Valerie Whistler.   “Pirtek are real champions for us, their support is greatly appreciated. They have worked so hard to source incredible prizes and sell tickets for their raffle to be drawn on 30 June.   We urge everyone out there to contact Pirtek Swindon and buy their tickets.”

Raffle tickets are available to purchase from Pirtek Swindon.   Please call Tel: 01792 512500.   The raffle will be drawn on 30 June 2017. 

WAA has launched a capital appeal to raise the remaining £1.25 million needed for its new airbase at Outmarsh Farm, Semington, near Melksham. The new airbase will be custom-built for its helicopter, aircrew and charity team and enable our helicopter to reach anywhere in the county within 11 minutes, as it does now from its base in Devizes.

For more information about the new airbase go to www.wiltshireairbaseappeal.co.uk

 

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