A WIRRAL paramedic is preparing to take to the skies in a bid to raise vital funds for the North West Air Ambulance.
Ellesmere Port man Chris Evans has played a huge part in helping to save lives of those in need across the borough, spending his days and nights working out of ambulance stations in Bebington, Heswall, Arrowe Park, Moreton, Birkenhead and Wallasey.
But 43-year-old Chris wants to do his bit to help the charity that offers life-saving treatment in the most critical of times – by jumping out of a plane flying at 14,000 ft on April 26.
“The accessibility to this fantastic service can make such a different to people who need to get specialist treatment in the most critical of times where a land ambulance would take longer by road to the designated hospital in the more rural areas of the north west region,” said Chris.
North West Air Ambulance currently has three air ambulances working in the region, with one soon to be based in Wirral.
Chris added: “With it being a charity, they need all the help they can get and when in work, I just never know when I will be treating a patient or patients who may need their services but knowing that they are there if needed is always a great feeling.”
So why is Chris jumping out of a plane strapped to another human and a piece of silk?
“I had finished the last of my three-day shift on the Wirral on New Year’s Day and was relaxing at home with a well-deserved drink when I saw a tweet on their Twitter feed advertising the opportunity to join them for a charity tandem skydive and I thought, in a moment of madness, ‘Yes, I like the idea of that’, so I contacted them and registered.
“The countdown then began, as did the fundraising.”
Chris – who has never taken part in anything like a tandem skydive before – set himself an initial target of £500 but has already smashed it, raising £686 with just less than a month to go.
He said: “It costs in excess of £4.2m to keep two of the aircraft in service so now there are three, you can imagine the rising cost.
“To date I have raised £646.50 online but have placed my target at £999 but I would really like to smash that total.”
As well as putting up sponsor forms in Wirral’s ambulance stations, Chris has also set up a Just Giving page.
To donate, visit justgiving.com/Stato12648 or text NWAA71 £(your amount) to 70070.