NORTH West Air Ambulance has reminded its supporters that motorists aren’t the only people feeling the pinch at the pumps.

The cost of fuel to keep the region’s two emergency helicopters flying is a staggering £400 per hour.

The life-saving EC135 helicopters get through more than 200 litres of fuel every hour, and with the price of petrol showing no signs of decreasing, charity officials face finding another £30,000 each year to cover the costs.

Costs increase as the charity approaches its busiest time of the year.

The service, which covers Lancashire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Merseyside and Cheshire, is traditionally in high demand from May onwards, and at weekends the aircrafts are often called on several times a day.

The charity now needs £4.3million a year and relies almost entirely on donations from the general public.

Lynda Brislin, North West Air Ambulance chief executive, said: “Everyone’s feeling the effects when they fill up with petrol and we’re no different.

“And as we approach our busiest time of the year, I would urge people to continue supporting this fantastic charity so we can keep saving lives every day of the year.”