The Warwickshire and Northamptonshire air ambulance service has announced that it recently reached a major milestone in its history with the completion of its 30,000th rescue mission.
The charity, which first launched its lifesaving services in 2003, operates two emergency helicopters - the Warwickshire & Northamptonshire Air Ambulance (WNAA) and the Derbyshire, Leicestershire & Rutland Air Ambulance (DLRAA) - that provide rapid response to trauma and medical emergencies, alongside its critical care cars on the ground.
Covering more than 3,850 miles, with an average response time of just 13 minutes, new figures show that in 2017 alone, the service carried out 3,547 missions, of which 2,026 were attended by the DLRAA, and 1,521 by the WNAA.
Out of all completed missions last year, 39 per cent were due to road traffic collisions, 25 per cent to medical emergencies and 9 per cent to falls, while 5 per cent were sports related, 5 per cent due to industrial incidents, and 17 per cent to other accidents.
All were funded entirely by donations, however, as the service receives no government, NHS or national lottery aid Richard Clayton, director of operations at the Air Ambulance Service, said that public support is vital to help keep their helicopters flying.
“We are incredibly proud to have reached this amazing milestone and make such a difference to so many patients and their families.
"As a charity, we simply couldn’t have done it without the support of our wonderful donors, supporters and volunteers, whose generosity over the years has been fantastic.
"It’s also a testament to our wonderful hard working staff, including our pilots, doctors and critical care paramedics who do lifesaving work every day, 365 days a year. Here’s to the next 30,000 missions, and beyond."
Bosses at the charity say that 2018 is a milestone year for both services with plans to extend their critical care lifesaving services to 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, later this year.
Gavin Alexander, a critical care paramedic said: “Every life saved is a victory for us, and we are forever grateful for all the donations that help keep this important service flying.
"As a critical care paramedic it’s a job that’s both rewarding and challenging, but to be able to make such a difference to the local community is a fantastic feeling.”