The life-saving crew of Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance (SCAA) have been voted the country’s Rural Heroes 2017.
The pilots and paramedics of Scotland’s only charity-funded air ambulance team picked up the coveted title at last night’s Scottish Rural Awards in Edinburgh for a service the judges described as “a crucial lifeline that Scotland simply could not do without”.
Since launching in 2013, SCAA has responded to more than 1,330 emergencies throughout the Scottish mainland and its many islands, bringing expert paramedic care quickly to the scene and providing rapid onwards transport to hospital for those seriously ill or injured.
Funded solely by the people of Scotland, the Perth Airport-based service has become a recognised and respected member of the country’s 999 response network – proving particularly vital in remote and rural communities.
SCAA’s pool of two pilots and five paramedics was the judges’ unanimous choice for the Rural Heroes Award, who said that the service was “truly remarkable” with the potential to benefit every single resident of Scotland.
Their citation said: “They (SCAA) are true heroes of remote communities, providing fast-response life-saving skills when they are most needed.
“This team’s selfless and dedicated service has seen them operate in difficult, stressful and highly demanding situations to bring care and comfort to those involved in emergencies, saving countless lives in the process and working to benefit many more.
“The judges were unanimous that Rural Heroes must create a positive impact on their rural community to the highest possible degree and that, definitively, fits the life-saving work carried out by the crew of Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance.”
SCAA Chief Executive David Craig told an appreciative audience that while the crew would never consider themselves rural “heroes”, there was little doubt they played a key role in the rural fabric of Scotland.
“They claim they are just doing their job,” he said, “but when that job involves the level of skill, dedication and physical and mental endurance they display every day of the year to bring their outstanding level of care to those most in need – wherever they are in Scotland – then it’s not overstating the case to call them heroes.
“SCAA is extremely proud of our amazing crew who always go the extra mile.”
The Scottish Rural Awards, partnered by Scottish Field magazine and the Scottish Countryside Alliance, in association with the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS) are the ultimate benchmark of excellence in rural Scotland.