Great Western Air Ambulance Charity has announced that 2019 was their busiest year to date, with their critical care team receiving over 2,000 call-outs to incidents across the region.
In 2019, they received 487 call outs in Gloucestershire alone, an 11 per cent increase on 2018.
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.
Last year saw an almost 6 per cent increase on the total number of call-outs from 2018, with the crew attending over five 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 its 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. Please give whatever you can so that someone else has the opportunity to have their life saved.”