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Campaign for new air ambulance.

Life-savers from the Great North Air Ambulance were today making a flying visit to North Yorkshire Police HQ to launch a new fundraising campaign.

Grahame Pickering, the charity's chief executive, was reporting to police chiefs on the Teesside Airport-based service's first year in operation.

And he was expected to announce ambitious new plans to raise pounds 2.5m to buy and kit out a 'third generation' air ambulance.

The force is also set to announce a unique new link between the two emergency services.

Mr Pickering: "We are aware that by 2005 most of the air ambulances in the UK will either need to be replaced or extensively modified to conform with new European regulations.

"Given the cost of modifying our existing aircraft, it makes much more economic sense to acquire a new one."

Assistant Chief Constable Peter Bagshaw will announce a new direct link-up between North Yorkshire Police and the Great North Air Ambulance service enabling police officers and control room operators to call the air ambulance direct to the scene of incidents.

He said: "Time can be a major factor at some of the incidents police officers are called to deal with and a matter of seconds can mean the difference between life and death.

"I believe this new link will prove to be a life-saver."
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Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Jul 11, 2003
Words:218
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