Record year for Sussex's air ambulance after almost 3,000 call-outs in 2021

The Air Ambulance Charity Kent Surrey Sussex (KSS) was called out to more than 2,900 incidents this year - the highest in its 32-year history.

The demand, described as ‘unprecedented’ by the charity, was an 18 per cent increase on 2020 and saw its helicopter dispatched 1,860 times and its Rapid Response Vehicles 1,053 times.

David Welch, CEO, said: “We provide a vital life-saving service, bringing the emergency room to the scene of an incident and delivering the best possible outcomes to patients in need of critical care.

Sign up to our daily SussexWorld Today newsletter

“Sadly, we are seeing an increasing need for our service and, despite another challenging year, we are very proud to have remained fully operational 24/7 throughout.

Members of staff at the air ambulance have signed up to a fitness challenge in an effort to kick-start the fundraising effort for 2022.

“This would not have been possible without the generosity of our supporters and volunteers across Kent, Surrey, East Sussex and West Sussex, for which we are truly grateful.”

The KSS, which operates out of Redhill Aerodrome, costs £15m per year to run - 88 per cent of which comes from public donations and fundraising.

Members of staff have signed up to a fitness challenge in an effort to kick-start the fundraising effort for 2022 - and the charity hopes members of the public will pull on their running shoes and do the same.

Run 31 challenges people of all ages and all levels of fitness to run 31 miles throughout the 31 days of January.

The KSS air ambulance, which operates out of Redhill Aerodrome, costs £15m per year to run - 88 per cent of which comes from public donations and fundraising.

Participants can tackle the distance anyway they like - from short daily jogs to twice-weekly endurance sessions - essentially running wherever and whenever they choose.

Helene Poursain, director of fundraising and events, said: “Run 31 was hugely successful last year and is back by popular demand.

“If you are looking to start running, return to running, stay fit or run off the Christmas excess, please sign up for Run 31 to and help us to raise vital funds so that we can continue to be there for the sickest and most critically injured patients across our regions in their hour of need.”

For more information or to sign up and receive a free T-shirt, visit www.aakss.org.uk or join KSS’s Run 31 Facebook Community.