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Air ambulance (AA) organisations - an introduction 

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Introduction

Genuine air ambulance (courtesy of wikimedia.org)
A genuine charity air ambulance

The good news

There are around 20 local air ambulance service charities in the UK.
They're entirely genuine and free of controversy.
For further details, see the section on them below.

Also see the website of the Association of Air Ambulances (AAA) :
www.AirAmbulanceAssociation.co.uk  

. . . and the bad news

There are several questionable, misleading and/or bogus organisations operating in the air ambulance field.  Some of these operate clothing collections.

What's on this page?

The items include newspaper articles, BBC news programmes and websites.

Related pages (including this page)

Air ambulances - generally

Wikipedia globe logo - courtesy of Wikipedia

Wikipedia - on (a) air ambulances and (b) relevant background

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_ambulance  
- a guide to air ambulances worldwide

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Air_Ambulances_in_the_United_Kingdom  
- on UK air ambulances

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helicopter   - on helicopters generally

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eurocopter_EC_135  
- on the "Eurocopter EC135" helicopter - used by many air ambulance charities in the UK.
Photos of it are used by "Air Ambulance Service" (AAS and AASTC) on their website and on their clothing collection leaflets.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergency_medical_services_in_the_United_Kingdom  
- on emergency medical services in the UK

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air-sea_rescue   - on air-sea rescue (ASR)
- including the rescue of injured civilians - eg by coastguards, RAF/RN helicopters.
Some overlap with air ambulance charities.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RNLI   - on the RNLI - the UK's lifeboats charity.
The RNLI has close similarities to the UK's local air ambulance charities.
However, the RNLI is a single national charity - albeit with regional/local branches.


Source:      UK Emergency Aviation
Category:  Website
Date:         As at 24 July 2010

www.ukemergencyaviation.co.uk  

A detailed guide to police and air ambulance aviation in the UK.

As at mid-2010, each page includes a link (on the left) labelled " 'Air Ambulance Service' Leaflets" - which takes you to a warning about "Air Ambulance Service" (AAS) on the website of Midlands Air Ambulance charity (MAA)

Air ambulance charities

AAA logo

The Association of Air Ambulances (AAA)

www.AirAmbulanceAssociation.co.uk  

This is the not-for-profit umbrella/coordinating body for air ambulance charities in the UK.

Their website includes an interactive map of local air ambulance (AA) charities with contact details (addresses, phone numbers and websites).


Local air ambulance charities in the UK

Map of the UK - courtesy of Wikipedia
Map of the UK

There are around 20 of these.  Examples :

Air ambulance charities - controversial

Note of reassurance:  Local air ambulance charities in the UK are entirely genuine and free of controversy.

However, there are a couple of unconventional (national) charities which are controversial - details below.


"Children's Air Ambulance" charity (CAAT) - controversy

Source:  Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Children's_Air_Ambulance  

On a controversial small air ambulance charity based in Devon, called Children's Air Ambulance Charity (CAAT).  As at 2010, it hadn't yet got a helicopter - and the organisation had a chequered history.`

Also see www.pprune.org/rotorheads/398461-childrens-air-ambulance-info.html  

Good news - In Dec 2011, the charity was taken over by two well-respected local air ambulance charities (DLRAA and WNAA) - so the charity is now well-run and worthy of support.


BBC logo

"Ireland Air Ambulance" charity (IAA) - controversy

Source:      BBC News (Northern Ireland)
Category:  Broadcaster - article
Date:         16 April 2010
Headed:     " NI air ambulance charity 'grounded' "

News on the dissolution (and restarting) of the controversial "Ireland Air Ambulance" (IAA) charity.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/8623970.stm  

Also see these related articles :

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/8141331.stm  

http://firegeezer.com/2009/07/09/air-ambulance-fund-raising-scam-unfolds-in-uk  

http://firegeezer.com/2010/04/22/hot-air-ambulance-grounded-for-good  

Air ambulances - not charities

Source:      Daily Telegraph
Category:  National newspaper - article
Author:      Peter Pallot
Date:         23 July 2010
Headed:     "Expat health care: who do you rely on in your darkest hour?"

www.telegraph.co.uk/health/expathealth/7898825/Expat-health-care-who-do-you-rely-on-in-your-darkest-hour.html  

On air ambulances (eg international commercial repatriation services) - such as International SOS and Cega *

Air ambulances - not charities - controversial

St Christopher's Assistance [company]

www.stchristophersassistance.com/index.html  

The website says it's "an independent UK company".  It portrays itself as being British.
However, it seems it's not a UK-registered company (see the Companies House website).

The owner (registrant) of the website is given as "Richard Sage".
(Presumably this is "the" 'notorious' Richard Sage?  - see the entry on Richard Sage below.)

Warnings about the company :

www.pprune.org/flight-ground-ops-crewing-dispatch/414190-anyone-heard-st-christophers-assistance.html  

www.pprune.org/biz-jets-ag-flying-ga-etc/315913-richard-sage.html  

Air ambulances - scams and fraud

"Air Ambulance Service" (AAS) and "Air Ambulance Service (Trading Co) Ltd" (AASTC)

AAS logo 159x159

The registered company office was in Bicester, Oxfordshire.

Their activities included house-to-house clothing collections.  A scam.
Both companies were closed down by the government in November 2011.

See the top of this page for links to our pages on these companies.

Image below:  The top of a misleading clothing collection leaflet from AAS / AASTC

Top of 'Air Ambulance Service' leaflet


Air Ambulance Support [Community Interest Company] =AASCIC - Birmingham

A house-to-house clothing collector.  A scam.
The company was closed down by the government in November 2011.

See the top of this page for a link to our page on this company.


BBC logo

Source:      BBC News - Staffordshire
Category:  Broadcaster
Date:         5 Feb 2004
Headed:     "Ambulance charity scam exposed"

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/staffordshire/3460577.stm  

Extract :

". . .  They [Staffordshire Trading Standards] seized hundreds of bags of clothes donated by people in Staffordshire during door-to-door collections organised by a private trader.   . . .

Thousands of leaflets have also been seized.   . . .

Genuine charities can recycle bags of clothing which are worth up to £10 to them."


Source:      The Times
Category:  National newspaper - article
Date:         8 April 2008
Headed:     "Air ambulance fundraiser stole cash for life of luxury"

www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/crime/article3701639.ece  

The man concerned ran a charity lottery company in SW England.
He stole £275,000 from genuine charities.


Source:      Daily Gazette [Essex]
Category:  Local newspaper
Date:         24 Dec 2009
Headed:     "Bogus clothes collectors warning"

www.gazette-news.co.uk/news/4820772.Bogus_clothes_collectors_warning  

On "East Anglian Ambulance Trust" (bogus)


Source:      The Sun
Category:  National newspaper
Date:         4 October 2004
Headed:     "Fraudster's new 999 scam"

www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article95554.ece  

Article on Richard Sage and his fraudulent activities - including air ambulances


Source:      The Sentinel [Staffordshire]
Category:  Local newspaper
Date:         9 August 2008
Headed:     "Woman guilty of bogus fund-raising"

www.thisisstaffordshire.co.uk/news/Woman-guilty-bogus-fund-raising/article-258922-detail/article.html  

Extract :

"Woman guilty of bogus fund-raising

A BOGUS fund-raiser went round pubs and clubs in the area with fake collecting tins supposedly raising money for Staffordshire's Air Ambulance.

For nearly a decade Sandra Griffiths fleeced unsuspecting donors.

Her case was remanded for reports by a judge at Stafford Crown Court yesterday."


 

Drawing of "aerial screw" (a primitive helicopter) by Leonardo da Vinci, ca 1480 - courtesy of Wikipedia
 
Drawing of "aerial screw" (a primitive helicopter)
by Leonardo da Vinci, date ca 1480