21 Oct 2013

FirstGroup, the leading transport operator in the UK and North America is providing our charity, with £100k worth of support over four years. Last month one of FirstGroup’s brand new hybrid buses, which is one of 23 which has just entered service in Essex, went head to head with our aircraft at RAF Northolt to promote the partnership.  

Avril Gill, FirstGroup’s Marketing Manager, said: “London’s Air Ambulance saves lives.  Therefore the decision to apportion some of our charitable spend to it was an easy one.  We are delighted to provide funding that will directly support the incredible work that the team carries out on a daily basis.”

London’s Air Ambulance Chief Executive, Graham Hodgkin, thanked FirstGroup for its support: “It is as a result of the generous support of companies like FirstGroup that London’s Air Ambulance can continue to provide its life-saving service on the streets of London every day.  FirstGroup is an essential part of London’s transport network, employing Londoners and transporting people in, out and across the capital every day.  To support a charity that is an integral part of London’s emergency infrastructure demonstrates First’s commitment to the community it operates in.”

First Essex Bus Driver, Mark Haken, who has enjoyed some 15 years service with First at its Basildon depot, said: “Our brand new hybrid bus is fantastic to drive, very smooth and very comfortable for passengers.  While it was a real thrill to see the London’s Air Ambulance’s MD902 aircraft up close, I much prefer driving my regulars in Basildon than negotiating flight paths with Air Traffic Control in London.”

Captain Neil Jeffers added: “Unfortunately, I didn’t have the necessary qualifications to get behind the wheel of the hybrid bus, but like our helicopter it is fitted with state of the art technology and looks incredibly impressive.”

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