UNITED Utilities is splashing thousands in charity money to save lives, by backing the county’s two air ambulances.

United Utilities workforce voted North West Air Ambulance as their nominated charity for the coming year.

The helicopters recently moved to dedicated trauma hospitals, the University Hospital of South Manchester in Wythenshaw and Royal Preston Hospital at a cost of £250,000.

Chris Matthews of United Utilities, said: “These two aircraft respond to life threatening incidents across North West, the majority to our customers. It is right and proper, as the regional water supplier, we do our bit to help the lives of our customers flow smoothly in whatever way we can.

“Sponsoring the work of the Air Ambulance Service will ensure that specialist teams of doctors can fly out to treat patients at the scene and keep saving lives.”

Lynda Brislin, chief executive of the charity, said: “Last year, we flew over 1,200 rescue missions throughout the region – so a partnership like this will go a long way in helping to raise the £4.2 million it costs to keep our two helicopters operational and saving lives across the North West.”

Between them, the helicoptyers fly seven days a week, 365 days a year, serving a population of around eight million, proving a rapid response covering an area of 5,500 square miles.

Crews can be called out five times a day on average, rising to 10 in the summer.