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GNAA: 'Budget announcement will save us £25,000 a year'

Air ambulances have VAT on fuel scrapped Credit: GNAA

The Great North Air Ambulance Service, which operates Pride of Cumbria, has welcomed the Government’s decision to relieve air ambulances from the burden of fuel duty. As part of the budget announcement, Chancellor George Osborne announced that air ambulance fuel would no longer be subject to VAT.

The announcement follows a long campaign by supporters of air ambulances in the UK.

Mandy Drake, head of fundraising at GNAAS, said: “We estimate that this move could save the charity around £25,000 a year, enough to pay for ten missions.

"This is clearly a significant contribution and we are grateful to all those people who have worked hard to make this happen, especially the many thousands who signed the online petition which triggered the debate in the first place."

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Chancellor announces VAT relief for Great North Air Ambulance

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Chancellor announces VAT relief for air ambulance fuel. Thanks for all the support everyone - we did it! #budget2014

As part of his budget for 2014 George Osborne has announced that air ambulances will have VAT relief.

The Great North air Ambulance have been campaigning for this.

Husband praises Great North Air Ambulance after rescue

Karen Luker and Rod Coombs Credit: Family photo

A man has paid tribute to the Great North Air Ambulance Service after they rescued his wife following a walking accident in the Lake District.

Karen Luker fell during a walk on 19 October, leaving her in severe pain. Her husband Rod Coombs found that he had no phone signal and had to run to the nearby village of Buttermere to call 999.

He then returned to his wife when he knew emergency services were on their way.

When he knew emergency services were on their way he returned to his wife, who was being comforted by two passersby, to tell her the ambulance was on its way.

The Great North Air Ambulance Service landed in a field just 100 metres from the patient and the onboard doctor and paramedic treated Mrs Luker on scene.

Cockermouth Mountain Rescue Team also helped to stretcher the patient to the waiting air ambulance, where she was airlifted to Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle with suspected spinal injuries.

The 61-year-old was able to leave hospital the next day to continue her recovery.

Air Rescue

Helicopter
The Rescue Team bring the injured woman off the fellside Credit: Great North Air Ambulance

A woman in her forties is recovering after falling on High Dodd near Ullswater. The Great North Air Ambulance and Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team were called to rescue the woman who had leg injuries shortly before 4pm.

She was airlifted down to the rescue team base and is in a stable condition.

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Tyne Tees

Pilot saved motorist from floods

Pilot Captain Pete Barnes
Pete Barnes rescuing a motorist at Stanhope Ford

It has been revealed that Captain Pete Barnes, the pilot who died in a helicopter crash in central London this morning, spent time working in the North East.

In 2004 he helped rescue a motorist from a flooded ford in County Durham, while working for the Great North Air Ambulance.

Pilot Captain Pete Barnes
Pete Barnes while working for the Great North Air Ambulance. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

He also flew the Newcastle Traffic & Travel helicopter as the Voice of Metro FM and worked as a helicopter instructor.

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