A recent survey carried out by Great Western Air Ambulance Charity has shown that 6 in 10 people in the region choose ‘providing emergency services in the UK’ as one of their most important causes.
Emergency services and frontline staff have been at the forefront of people’s hearts and minds as they battle the COVID-19 pandemic.
NHS and healthcare staff have been widely celebrated for putting themselves at risk and continuing to be there for those in need, with many healthcare services being placed under added pressure this year.
More people selected emergency services as a cause that is closest to their heart at this current time, over many other causes.
Rescue services and domestic abuse causes also ranked highly, reflecting the struggles that have been faced this year, demonstrating that people are valuing those who stand ready to help others in need or in danger.
Whilst NHS services have received a huge show of support, many other causes that fall into these categories are charity-run, and rely on public support to ensure they can continue to be there for those in need.
The Great Western Air Ambulance Charity has remained fully operational throughout the pandemic, with their crews stepping up to support their NHS colleagues in the response to COVID-19.
The crews attended to their first COVID-19 patient back in February, and nine months on, are still working to ensure that their critical service continues to run.
As a charity, GWAAC receives no day-to-day funding from the NHS or Government and relies on the people in the communities it serves to raise over £4 million a year needed to provide the vital service.
GWAAC’s crew attend to over five critically ill or injured patients a day on average, yet despite this, less than 1 in 5 people in the region correctly understand the role of their local air ambulance.
Most stated that its primary function is to reach people in hard to access locations, and to transport patients to hospital at speed.
In fact, GWAAC’s crew bring the lifesaving skills and expertise of a hospital emergency department straight to the scene of those in urgent need.
They are specially trained in pre-hospital emergency medicine so they can perform surgical procedures usually only done in an operating theatre, at the roadside.
GWAAC Critical Care Doctor, James Tooley, said: “The use of emergency surgical skills is one of those rare occasions where people can literally be brought back to life immediately because of something you do.
“These surgical skills were once only available in hospital, but often patients did not survive the journey to hospital. Being able to provide them without delay is invaluable.”
To provide their lifesaving treatment, the Critical Care Doctors and Specialist Paramedics need to remain highly trained in these emergency medical procedures.
This December, GWAAC are taking part in the Big Give Christmas Challenge to raise the £15,000 needed to cover the cost of their crew’s surgical skills training course.
It is an essential part of their toolkit to ensure they can continue to provide the best pre-hospital care to those in urgent need.
From Tuesday 1st to Tuesday 8th December, people have the chance to have their donation doubled at no extra cost to them, meaning twice the donation, twice the impact.
If you would like to support your local air ambulance charity crew and have your lifesaving donation doubled, you can do so or find out more at www.gwaac.com/biggive.