A LIFESAVING charity that helps hundreds of critically and seriously injured people every year in North Yorkshire faces a 38 per cent increase in its daily running costs.

Rising fuel prices, aircraft maintenance and other charges mean that Yorkshire Air Ambulance (YAA) which receives no Government money, needs £3.6 million a year to keep its two helicopters in the air, up from £2.6 million a year.

But it is confident that it will continue to provide its emergency help with the help of Yorkshire people.

Peter Sunderland, YAA Chairman, said: “We have not been immune to the challenging economic environment over the last few years and as a result, are seeing a major impact on our running costs.”

The charity has held its running costs at £7,200 every day for the last five or six years, but now estimates it needs an extra £2,790 each day.

“The charity is extremely aware that we would not be able to fund the running of the YAA without the help and support we receive from the people of Yorkshire,” he said.

“Every day we are overwhelmed by the amazing support that is shown towards the charity, from donations and fundraising events to touching stories of how we have rescued friends and family members. We are unable to convey just how grateful we are to all those people who support us, and I will once again say it to everyone who supports our charity – thank you.

“We are confident that we will be able to meet the new daily running cost of £9,990, and with the support of the people of Yorkshire, we can continue to provide a state of the art, rapid response emergency service 365 days per year.”

Saving hundreds of lives every year

LAST year the YAA attended a total of 933 incidents, and transported 431 patients directly to hospital for treatment – up from 376 patients the previous year.

Forty per cent of its patients were injured in traffic collisions, 25 per cent are people injured during sports events or while taking part in leisure pursuits such as hill-walking and 14 per cent are medical emergencies.

Among incidents the YAA attended were airlifting a train driver to a specialist heart unit at Hull after he had a heart attack at the wheel of a commuter service between Scarborough and York.