Your local Air Ambulance flies its 40,000th mission
Your local air ambulance has achieved the monumental milestone of flying its 40,000th mission – touching tens of thousands of lives and families in the process.
The feat is even more remarkable given the fact the lifesaving service operates 24/7, 365 days a year with all missions being funded entirely by public donations and at no cost to the NHS.
Warwickshire & Northamptonshire Air Ambulance (WNAA) and Derbyshire, Leicestershire & Rutland Air Ambulance (DLRAA) provide a critical care response utilising both helicopters and critical care cars, and work alongside East Midlands and West Midlands Ambulance Services.
Former patient Guy Watt, who suffered multiple life-threatening injuries – when his car aquaplaned, rolled and hit a tree, attended the Coventry base to mark the occasion.
“It’s incredible to see the service, which saved my life, reach their 40,0000th mission milestone,” said Guy. “Mine was one of those 40,000 missions and, with my injuries, I should not have survived even 24 hours let alone being here today and walking again.
“My family and I are forever grateful for this vital service which is kept operational by public support and donations – I owe more than I will ever be able to give back to the local air ambulance.”
Based at Coventry Airport and East Midlands Airport respectively, WNAA and DLRAA carry dedicated critical care paramedics and doctors who are able to perform surgical procedures, from thoracotomies to caesareans to amputations, by the roadside when the need is there.
The charity’s frontline crews, who work tirelessly around the clock to help save lives by delivering pre-hospital critical care to patients, are proud to have been able to help so many in their hour of need.
Clinical Lead for The Air Ambulance Service, Dr Matthew Wyse, said: “On 40,000 occasions, the clinical teams have been called out in the air ambulance helicopters or one of our critical care cars to go to the aid of someone who may need us.
“Since my first mission, the response of the public to us has been fantastic; ‘blimey you were quick’ has been one of the consistent comments and reflects the fact that when you or someone you know has been hurt or taken ill, receiving a rapid response is so important.
“Not every one of those 40,000 calls resulted in lifesaving interventions by the team, sometimes thankfully the patient is not as serious as first thought, sometimes the team can provide assistance, reassurance and simple help to the patient, sometimes just a rescue flight from a remote hard to reach location is the most important intervention we deliver.”
Director of Operations, Richard Clayton, added: “As we have completed our monumental milestone of 40,000 missions I’m reminded of the countless people that have contributed in so many different ways to our services.
“We simply couldn’t have achieved our mission over the past 17 years without our fantastic volunteers, supporters, charity team and NHS partners. Most of all I want to thank my critical care clinicians, pilots and support team members for their significant contribution to our communities and patient care.”
Funded by public donations, with each mission costing an average of £1,700, the charity is incredibly proud to have flown their 40,000th mission today, and need the continued support from the public to enable them to continue saving lives.
The Air Ambulance Service CEO, Andy Williamson reflects on what this means to the charity: “It is incredible to think about reaching the 40,000 mission milestone, and gives us all an enormous sense of pride because of the difference we have been making to people’s lives.
“When we talk about 40,000 missions, it is people and their extended families that have been positively affected by our lifesaving work. It has meant children still have parents, wives and husbands still had each other and those parents still have their children. It has meant young people have grown up when they might not have done, it has meant people celebrating their own milestone birthdays and anniversaries which might never have happened and it has meant saving the NHS tens of millions of pounds by providing all our services for free.
“All of this is achieved because of the dedication and commitment, the pride and the passion of everyone involved in our air ambulance service. We do what charities are meant to do, make an impact and benefit society – we save lives and long may we continue doing so.”
To help your local air ambulance continue to provide its lifesaving service across its five counties and further afield, the charity has launched a #40for40 virtual fundraising challenge and encourage the general public to get involved.
For more information on the challenge and how to take part, please click here