How a British HEMS company survives as a nonprofit
Friday, January 23, 2015
Well, it looks like Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, will start flying helicopter EMS missions for the East Anglian Air Ambulance service in a few months, my previous advice as to the wisdom of this career move notwithstanding. For the sake of the prince and his growing family, I hope all goes well.
East Anglian differs from its American counterparts in that it is operated as a nonprofit, charitable venture that relies on a variety of funding sources, including direct contributions from the communities it serves and their appreciative residents.
A group of 14 local ladies, ages 19 to 50, have decided a fine way of showing their support for East Anglian is to shed textiles for a fundraising photo calendar and plan to send the prince a complimentary copy.
Note to spouse Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge: You don't have anything to worry about. This is not the kind of stuff you see in men's magazines.
The "Calendar Meant for Air Ambulance Charity" or "Country Ladies Uncovered" sports varying pictorial themes for each month that are rural in tone, with the subjects wearing hay, horse tack, boots, Santa caps and precious little else. The photos show the women engaging in bucolic and Victorian pastimes such as chopping wood, sipping in a drawing room, mounting a fuel truck, or simply walking with their backsides to the breeze.
Photographer Julie Ayres told London's Daily Mail that, "The hardest part was the logistics in working out who would be willing to show what."
While no doubt noble in intent, the ladies' time perhaps would have been better spent simply soliciting donations door-to-door rather than posing for this life-saving, $15 pin-up.
Nevertheless, it does point out the importance of community support in maintaining robust local air ambulance service, regardless of the funding source. Last year East Anglian Air Ambulance flew 1,440 missions, transporting more than 1,000 patients, including more than 400 scene transports. Since its founding in 2001, it has flown more than 14,000 missions, and more than 2.9 million people reside in its service area.
The service currently operates two Airbus EC 135 T2 aircraft and is upgrading its fleet with a new EC 145 T2 in the near future. East Anglian is fully qualified for night operations. It is operated under contract by the Bond Aviation Group.
East Anglian does not receive any government support. Its entire operating budget is derived from the general public via donations, bequests, fundraising and lottery ticket proceeds. Oh yes, and calendars.
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