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Meet Our Heroes KSS Air Ambulance

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 Air Ambulance Charity KSS, saving lives in Kent, Surrey & Sussex. Urgently raising £1M for a vital helicopter. Join us in our lifesaving mission!

Can you tell us a little about the charity and what you do? 

We are Air Ambulance Charity Kent Surrey Sussex (KSS), and we’re the local air ambulance charity for Kent, Surrey and Sussex. We hope you never need us, but every year thousands of people do. And if you do, we’ll be there to fight for your life. 

Every day we save lives and ensure the best possible outcomes for people in our communities who have suddenly become critically injured or ill and are in urgent need of our lifesaving care. 

When every second counts for survival, we bring the emergency room to the scene, fast. When a call for our help comes, we can reach any part of Kent, Surrey or Sussex in under 30 minutes. And we don’t stop. 24/7, 365 days a year. 

In 2023 our service was needed more than ever before. We responded to a record number of over 3,300 incidents. 

On each mission we have a doctor, typically a specialist in anaesthesia or emergency medicine – and a paramedic who is trained in critical care and is used to working in challenging environments. The lifesaving care given by our expert crews can include open heart surgery, blood transfusions and emergency anaesthetic. 

Our fleet is made up of three helicopters and four Rapid Response Vehicles (RRVs), which we operate and maintain from our Redhill Aerodrome base. Our charity headquarters and forward operating base is at Rochester Airport 

Could you share a success story? 

Chris Pounds from Tonbridge, Kent, needed critical care from KSS after becoming trapped under his tractor. 

“I was involved in a farming accident where I got crushed by a tractor. I was on my own in a field miles away from anywhere. I rang 999 and it was the air ambulance that came. Without their intervention I would not be here, there’s no way I would have survived. I was operated on in the field and then taken by air to King’s College Hospital in London. The journey was about 12 minutes from where I was by helicopter but it would have taken a lot longer by road. 

KSS AIR AMBULANCE

“It was the medical intervention that they brought to me, lying in a field in the grass with crush injuries that saved my life. If the air ambulance hadn’t got there I wouldn’t have survived, it’s as simple as that. 

“We never know in our daily lives what is going to happen. We wake up, go to work, do the things we are going to do. But there may be a time when we, a loved one, a friend, a child, needs that intervention. The help that KSS brings is beyond what you would normally get. 

“Situations change in seconds and to have the air ambulance to support people across Kent, Surrey and Sussex is s godsend and something we all really need to support.” 01634 471 900 hello@aakss.org.uk aakss.org.uk Air Ambulance Charity Kent Surrey Sussex, Rochester City Airport, Maidstone Road, Chatham, Kent, ME5 9SD A registered Charity in England and Wales • Charity no. 1021367. A registered Company in England and Wales limited by guarantee • Company no. 2803242 To read our privacy statement, please visit aakss.org.uk/privacy or contact us for a copy 

“Situations change in seconds and to have the air ambulance to support people across Kent, Surrey and Sussex is s godsend and something we all really need to support.” 01634 471 900 hello@aakss.org.uk aakss.org.uk Air Ambulance Charity Kent Surrey Sussex, Rochester City Airport, Maidstone Road, Chatham, Kent, ME5 9SD A registered Charity in England and Wales • Charity no. 1021367. A registered Company in England and Wales limited by guarantee • Company no. 2803242 To read our privacy statement, please visit aakss.org.uk/privacy or contact us for a copy 

Read more and see a video of Chris’s story here: Chris Pounds – Air Ambulance Charity Kent Surrey Sussex (aakss.org.uk) 

For those interested in getting involved, what opportunities are available and what steps should they take? 

At the start of April we launched our urgent `Buy it for Life’ appeal to raise the final £1M needed to secure the future of our lifesaving helicopter and enable us to reach more patients and save even more lives across Kent Surrey and Sussex. 

Until now we have leased our second air ambulance. But owning, rather than leasing, it gives us far more security over our helicopter which is so fundamental to our lifesaving service and a genuine lifeline for the people of Kent, Surrey and Sussex. 

KSS AIR AMBULANCE


We are Air Ambulance Charity Kent Surrey Sussex (KSS), and we’re the local air ambulance charity for Kent, Surrey and Sussex. We hope you never need us, but every year thousands of people do. And if you do, we’ll be there to fight for your life.
Every day we save lives and ensure the best possible outcomes for people in our communities who have suddenly become critically injured or ill and are in urgent need of our lifesaving care.

It will save us almost half a million pounds a year which will enable us to drive forward with our plans to fly for six more hours every day, meaning we can reach more patients and save even more lives. Saving this money will also enable the future development of our ability to fly in more challenging weather conditions as well as grow our patient and family aftercare service and introduce more community prevention and education initiatives. 

As part of the appeal, and for the first time ever, supporters are being given the unique opportunity to have their name on the helicopter. Anyone donating £100 or more can have their name, name of a friend or family member, team, community group or business, or the name of a loved one in their memory, on the air ambulance – making them a part of every lifesaving mission. 

To secure one of the limited number of spaces visit aakss.org.uk/helicopter 

How do you normally raise funds, and is it difficult? 

We raise funds in a variety of ways, such as our weekly lottery, regular raffles and appeals, events such as Heli Hike, It’s a KSS Knockout etc as well as partnerships with businesses. Many of our amazing supporters tackle challenges like marathons, skydives and the like on our behalf. You can find out more via our website, aakss.org.uk or by following us on social media, 

What will the funds help with? 

It costs £18.8M a year or £51K per day to operate our world leading, lifesaving service with 88% of our total income raised through the incredible generosity of our supporters. 

The average cost of a mission is £4,100. This cost includes our dispatchers, medics and pilots, fuel for our helicopter or Rapid Response Vehicle (RRV), equipment and helicopter maintenance, medicines and disposable medical supplies. 

Without you, we can’t keep flying.

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