On the 9th July 2017 at some ridiculously early time, I will be joining 1000’s of cyclists on the start line in Cardiff ready to ride 87 miles around South Wales. Why you might ask, well that’s something I can’t fully answer, other than because I can and I will.
Wales Air Ambulance is the national air ambulance charity for Wales, providing emergency air cover for those who face life-threatening illness or injuries and I thought this was a perfect opportunity for me to raise some precious money for charity an amazing life-saving service that one day we might need.
The charity is funded by public support and relies entirely on donations to raise over £6 million each year to operate the three helicopters in the mid, north and south of the country. The charity’s three helicopters cover over 8,000 sq miles of remote countryside, bustling towns and cities, vast mountain ranges, as well as 800 miles of coastline.
With such a widely scattered population and diverse landscape, many people in Wales live in isolated locations, far from a major or specialist hospital. In urban areas, traffic congestion and collisions can significantly delay treatment and access to vital life-saving equipment. For these reasons alone, there’s a recognised need for our three helicopters on active duty 365 days a year.
Each helicopter can launch within 3 minutes of receiving an emergency call. From the three airbases, a helicopter can be anywhere in Wales within just 20 minutes.
A patient’s chances of survival and early recovery increase if they receive the right care within the first hour, otherwise known as the Golden Hour. The fast response times and the expert medical attention provided by the Wales Air Ambulance crews get patients to the care they need in the quickest possible time.
I’ve not got an ‘all singing and all dancing’ carbon road bike, though when struggling up huge hills I wish I did, so I’m a bit slower than the lycra clad masses we all see cycling around Wales every day, but so what? I will get over that finish line albeit walking, crawling or whatever it takes.