Wales Air Ambulance has carried out its 20,000th mission since the service was launched in 2001, responding to a head-on collision near Treorchy.
The landmark mission came on Tuesday 7th October, when the Swansea-based crew were called to the scene of a two-car road traffic collision on the A4107.
WAA paramedic Jason Hughes, who on was duty, said they were able to land on the winding valley road within minutes.
“After arriving on scene, we treated and airlifted an adult male with chest and arm injuries, who had actually been ejected from the car by the collision,” he said.
“He was very lucky to be alive.”
The helicopter team flew the patient to the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff in seven minutes, landing on the hospital’s helipad with direct access to A&E at 17:55.
Wales Air Ambulance, which has been the feature of ITV’s series Helimeds this Autumn, was launched on St David’s Day 2001, when it responded to its first mission – a rugby neck injury in Glynneath.
The charity’s chief executive, Angela Hughes, said: “We couldn’t have reached this milestone without the help from the public, our volunteers and everyone that has ever supported us.
“They have helped us to raise the vital funds needed to fly the three helicopters, which means we are able to be on standby for anyone that needs us, 365 days a year.”
Wales Air Ambulance needs to raise over £6 million in charitable donations every year, and it costs on average £1,500 each time the helicopter attends an incident.
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