Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance Seek Real Life 999 Heroes

Less than a year since launching their ‘Be A 999 Hero’ education programme, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance (HIOWAA) have delivered their life saving message to over 20,000 children in schools, clubs and nurseries across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. To mark this achievement, the charity is looking for 999 Heroes who have used their life saving skills in real life scenarios.

Any parents of children who have helped to save a life by knowing how to respond in the event of a medical emergency are asked to get in touch with HIOWAA Schools and Youth Coordinator Joanna Hennessy on 02380 333377 or by email on joanna@hiowaa.org. Hennessy commented;

‘Since launching our ‘Be a 999 Hero’ campaign, we have been told of at least one incident where a child has helped to save a life, simply by making a 999 call at the appropriate time and in the right way. We want to recognise our 999 Heroes of the future’

Launched in October 2015 with the support of Knight Frank, the HIOWAA ‘Be A 999 Hero’ education programme is designed to teach young people about how to respond in an emergency and to highlight the importance of the Air Ambulance and other emergency services. 20,000 children from schools, clubs and nurseries across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight have benefited from a 30 minute interactive presentation designed to equip them with the vital skills that could one day save a life. In addition, children have the advantage of a website (www.hiowaa.org/skyheroes56) where they can access vital safety information, fundraising ideas, games and a news page of activity from across the region.

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A survey released by Mumsnet in April last year found that of 757 respondents, 37% have not taught their child to dial 999, and many children thought that the emergency number was 911. Others commented that locked smartphones stuck on the ‘enter passcode’ screen were a source of concern. Joanna Hennessy, HIOWAA Schools and Youth Coordinator, continued;

‘Our education programme has been embraced by children across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. Now we want to be able to recognise the children who are using their emergency skills to save lives in our community; to give them the opportunity to visit our airbase and meet the HIOWAA crew’.

Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance flies seven days a week and attends an average of two to three missions a day, many of them life saving. The charity receives no government, statutory or national lottery funding for routine operations, and is entirely dependent on donations received from members of the public, companies and grant-making bodies to keep the Air Ambulance flying and saving lives.

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