It was another very busy year for The Air Ambulance Service in 2013, with the Charity carrying out its 20,000th mission.
According to the latest figures, the Charity’s Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) passed this incredible landmark in December. Warwickshire & Northamptonshire Air Ambulance (WNAA) has now completed over 14,500 rescue missions since it was founded in 2003, while Derbyshire, Leicestershire & Rutland Air Ambulance (DLRAA) has completed over 5,500 rescue missions since 2008.
This would not have been achieved were it not for donations made by the general public and the continued hard work by the Charity’s supporters, volunteers and staff.
Last year, the two services carried out 1,680 rescue missions between them: 889 by DLRAA and 791 by WNAA.
Both services attend a variety of emergency rescues every day of the year, including Christmas Day. These include road traffic collisions, serious sporting injuries, severe burns, industrial accidents and any other medical incidents that require rapid response.
Road traffic collisions made up for the majority of callouts last year with 43%. 21% of callouts were for sporting or equestrian incidents, 17% were for medical emergencies such as heart attacks and strokes and 10% were for falls.
Both HEMS work on collaborative missions throughout the year, often carrying out rescue missions in each other’s counties as well as other neighbouring counties.
The two teams carried out 366 rescue missions in Northamptonshire last year – approximately one mission a day. 357 missions occurred in Leicestershire, 351 in Derbyshire, 266 in Warwickshire and 41 in Rutland. 272 missions were carried out in surrounding areas, including Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire, Oxfordshire and across the West Midlands.
2013 also saw a significant rise in doctor coverage across both services. For the first six months of the year, 60% of missions carried a doctor on board, with just 38% of missions in January providing doctor coverage. This figure rose to 86% for the last six months of the year. Certain months towards the end of the year saw over 90% of missions carry doctors on board.
The use of doctors on board these missions means they can provide advanced medical intervention, and administer higher levels of medication, effectively bringing the hospital to the patient.
Between them, the two services lost 30 days of flying due to maintenance work and just one and a half days because of poor weather conditions.
The main aim of the Charity, which receives no Government funding, is to save lives and provide expert care as quickly as possible to those who need us most. The Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) provide treatment on the scene of an incident, and a rapid means of transport to the hospital most suited to treat the casualty’s specific injuries and illnesses.
Both services operate a state-of-the-art Agusta helicopter, which can reach speeds of up to 200mph. This means they can be at the emergency scene in less than ten minutes. It is one of the fastest civilian helicopters available.
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