WILTSHIRE Air Ambulance has revealed how often it was called out to different parts of the county in 2018 as its total missions rose by 26%.
The demand for the skills of the charity’s critical care team resulted in increased numbers of call outs to the Swindon, Melksham, Chippenham, Trowbridge, Warminster, Calne, Westbury, Malmesbury, Bradford-on-Avon and Corsham areas.
The largest number of incidents that Wiltshire Air Ambulance responded to were in the Swindon area – 182 – equivalent to a call out, on average, every two days.
Locations where Wiltshire Air Ambulance was called to once a week, on average, were the Melksham area 82, the Chippenham area 79, the Devizes area 75, the Salisbury area 68 and the Trowbridge area 63.
Other areas in Wiltshire where the team were called to were Warminster 37, Calne, 34, Marlborough 28, Westbury 25, Malmesbury 21, Bradford-on-Avon 15, Pewsey 14, Corsham 14, Royal Wootton Bassett 11, Tidworth 9, Tisbury 6, Cricklade 3, Mere 2 and Highworth 1.
Overall, the total number of missions undertaken in 2018 by Wiltshire Air Ambulance were 1,103, up by 228 on the previous year. The charity’s helicopter flew 494 missions while its paramedics responded to 609 incidents in Rapid Response Vehicles (cars).
Wiltshire Air Ambulance operates until 3am and more than one in three of its missions last year were undertaken at night.
The largest number of call outs were to cardiac emergencies, 248 – almost one in four of the total incidents – while 220 – one in five incidents – were to road traffic collisions and one in ten incidents – 109 – involved children. In addition the team were called to 62 sporting accidents with almost half, 28, involving horse riders.
The charity announced last week that its annual costs have risen by 15% to £3.75 million a year. This means it has to raise just over £10,000 a day to keep its lifesaving service operational. It is not funded directly by the Government and receives no National Lottery grants.
David Philpott, chief executive of Wiltshire Air Ambulance, said: “The call out figures for 2018 show there was an increased demand for our essential lifesaving service. When our helicopter is unable to fly our critical care paramedics are available to respond to medical emergencies in Rapid Response Vehicles. These vehicles have the same specialist medical equipment that is on-board our helicopter.
“We are only able to keep saving lives thanks to the generosity of the public and businesses who make donations. If you would like to support us, please get in touch by calling the charity team on 01225 300536 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.”