The air ambulance that serves Brighton and Hove will carry blood and transfusion equipment thanks to help from three charities.
The Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance Trust is marking the advance at one its two bases – at Marden in Kent – this afternoon (Monday 4 February).
Its flying doctors will now be able to carry out emergency blood transfusions at the scene of serious medical emergencies.
The trust said that more people would survive serious accidents and that more survivors would enjoy a better recovery and a better quality of life as a result.
Up to 100 patients a year are expected to benefit.
The Henry Surtees Foundation, which was set up by former racing driver John Surtees in memory of his son, will present a cheque to pay for the blood transfusion equipment today.
The foundation has also worked with Honda to provide two new specially equipped cars to enable emergency volunteers to transport blood whatever the weather.
The air ambulance trust said that its helicopters would carry the first specialist doctor and paramedic air ambulance teams outside London to be able to give blood transfusions.