The County Air Ambulance HELP Appeal charity has presented a cheque for a quarter of a million pounds to the British Association for Immediate Care (BASICS), an organisation made up of 900 medical volunteers organised into local and regional schemes who are on call 24/7 to support NHS Ambulance Services across the country.

The presentation was made at the BASICS Pre-hospital Emergency Care Conference in Warwick, where the HELP Appeal’s Chief Executive, Robert Bertram announced that the charity has pledged to make the same donation every year.

Each of the BASICS’ schemes is eligible to apply for a portion of the funding to buy a state of the art BASICS vehicle or upgrade an existing vehicle with hi-visibility and reflective markings; communication and navigation equipment; lights and a siren to ensure volunteers are able to drive quickly and safely to an emergency incident.

When presenting the £250,000 cheque, Robert Bertram, Chief Executive of the HELP Appeal said:

“BASICS volunteers are lifesavers – it’s as simple as that. Not only do they have demanding and extremely challenging jobs helping patients every day, but they also give up their free time to help save lives by supporting the UK ambulance service, 365 days of the year. Whether patients are seriously injured in a traffic accident or a terrorist attack, this new funding will help these amazing volunteers arrive at the scene as quickly and as safely as possible to help save lives.”

Tony Kemp, Chairman, BASICS said:

“BASICS is extremely grateful to the HELP Appeal for this funding. All of our schemes rely on donated funds and in many cases, our volunteers are digging deep into their own pockets to provide essential lifesaving care. The £250,000 has this year has benefited the provision of advanced life-saving care through the purchase of dedicated emergency vehicles, vehicle equipment and maintenance.”

Simon Scott-Haywood, Chairman of BASICS Devon, one of the schemes receiving funding from this donation said:

“We are enormously grateful for the support of the HELP Appeal and BASICS. The grant will enable BASICS Devon to continue our vital work in the coming years.”

The HELP Appeal was created 10 years ago by the County Air Ambulance Trust. It is the only charity in the country dedicated to funding NHS hospital helipads.

BASICS provides medical roadside assistance from doctors, nurses, paramedics and others who work on a voluntary basis to provide care across the whole country. Members of BASICS usually respond from their own homes and in their own time to requests from the NHS Ambulance Services to provide emergency care in support of ambulance staff.