ON A Saturday afternoon in mid August I fell off our bungalow roof to the ground below, badly injuring myself.

The 999 operator was great at keeping my wife calm and ascertaining the nature of possible injuries.

Soon 'First Responders' arrived and made me comfortable while calling up reinforcements.

An ambulance arrived next. I was strapped to a 'body board', head and spine immobilised, and soon an air ambulance circled overhead and was talked down into a nearby field. Within minutes I was on board for the 20-minute flight to the Regional Trauma Centre at Preston Royal where they whisked me into a CT scan and X-rays, overseen by relevant consultants.

The whole process was calm, swift and professional; truly world-class care even in a rural backwater to the north of Kendal.

The point of this letter is, of course, to thank all of the service crews who helped me; they know who they are even if I don't!

Even more to the point I would like to thank all of the Gazette's readers who have ever contributed to our Air Ambulance Services.

We rightly expect excellent NHS services but Air Ambulance is different. Being funded as a charity and fund-raised by volunteers the Air Ambulance is a brilliant example of what responsible citizens can do for our mutual safety without the heavy hand of the state and 'politics' intervening.

I salute all involved and urge readers to give generously, donate to and shop at Air Ambulance shops such as the one at Queen Katherine Avenue in Kendal and support Air Ambulance events.

Air Ambulance is not just for high-profile rescues from the fells or from motorway smashes. As I found out they are there for all of us, even for the most mundane domestic accident.

I was lucky and am now nearing a full recovery, thanks in part to our superb emergency services, especially Air Ambulance. You never know when you might need them.

Ian Kell