The Great Western Air Ambulance Charity has said that 2019 was their busiest year to date, with the Critical Care Team receiving over 2,000 call-outs to incidents across the region.
In 2019, they received 173 call outs in Bath and North East Somerset alone, a 33% increase on 2018’s figures in this area.
The air ambulance and critical care service, which is charity funded, provides emergency medical care to the most seriously ill or injured across Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset, North Somerset, Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire.
GWAAC’s Critical Care Team consists of highly skilled Critical Care Doctors and Specialist Paramedics, who bring the skills of an emergency hospital department to the scene of an incident.
They have the ability to carry out life-saving interventions, such as blood transfusions or emergency anaesthesia to the patient, where it’s needed the most.
Last year saw an almost 6% increase on the total number of call-outs from 2018, with the crew attending over 5 incidents a day on average.
Cardiac arrests continue to be the most common incident that the team are called to, making up over a third of the missions, with road traffic collisions the second highest.
This increasing demand on the service means the charity needs to raise over £4 million a year to remain operational, yet they receive no day to day funding from the Government or National Lottery, relying on the generosity and support from local communities.
A former patient of the charity’s services, Chris Hickey, said: “GWAAC saved my life! I had a sudden cardiac arrest and without the intervention of the air ambulance, I wouldn’t be here today.
“You just never know when you might need the service and it can only keep going if it has the help of the whole community.
“Please give whatever you can so that someone else has the opportunity to have their life saved.”
To find out more about how you can support the Great Western Air Ambulance Charity, visit www.gwaac.com.