An air ambulance service that relies on fundraising has been given a council grant for the first time.
The service has relied on private donations in the past
West Berkshire Council has donated £20,000 to the Thames Valley and Chilterns Air Ambulance Trust.
While the council admits the grant is only a "fraction" of the trust's £1m annual costs, it hopes other local authorities will follow its example.
The trust is a charity that has until now been funded entirely by donations from private benefactors.
A spokesman for West Berkshire Council said the service was a "vital lifeline" for rural communities in the area.
"Rising fuel costs and the requirement to upgrade to a more modern helicopter are placing extra financial pressures on the trust.
"The council has been able to help for the first time this year.
"Whilst the contribution still only represents a fraction of the ambulance's annual running costs, it is hoped other councils in the Thames Valley will follow this lead to provide real financial security to the vital service," he said.
Stevie Horton, director of fundraising for the trust, said trustees were "extremely grateful".