Cornwall Air Ambulance is appealing for more support after new statistics show the charity carried out 1,105 missions in 2018, alongside launching an appeal to bring a new air ambulance to the county.
New data revealed by the charity shows that missions increased by more than 25% compared to 2017, putting extra pressure on the lifesaving charity which is funded by public donations.
A total of 774 missions were flown in the air ambulance MD902 helicopters, of these, 650 missions were to residents of Cornwall and 124 to visitors to the county. A further 331 missions were carried out in the charity’s critical care cars.
Throughout 2018, the air ambulance crew responded to 600 medical emergencies and 485 incidents where people suffered a serious trauma injury. The crew also flew 20 inter-hospital transfers to ensure seriously ill patients could get the treatment they needed.
Statistics show that on average Friday was the busiest day of the week for the helicopter crew. The greatest number of calls throughout the year were received between 11am-12pm.
Cornwall Air Ambulance missions throughout 2018 included:
- 358 heart-related emergencies
- 94 neuro-related emergencies
- 158 road traffic accidents
- 131 serious falls
- 140 babies, children and teenagers treated (including 28 less than 1 year old)
- 55 sporting injuries
- 20 horse riding injuries
- 21 industrial/agricultural related injuries
- 15 emergencies in the water (including surfers and swimmers)
The top five areas with the most number of missions in 2018:
- Newquay: 61
- Isles of Scilly: 58
- Penzance: 50
- Bodmin: 41
- St Austell: 32
Steve Garvey, Air Operations Officer at Cornwall Air Ambulance, said: “What we do is only possible thanks to donations from the people of Cornwall and beyond. Their support keeps us flying every year and ensures we can be there for seriously sick and injured patients in their hour of need.
“When it comes to saving lives every minute matters. As we respond to more calls year on year, it’s important to be able to save time wherever possible to reach more people. We know a new air ambulance helicopter will allow us to do that, so we really hope everyone gets behind the New Heli Appeal this year and continues to help us save more lives in the years to come.”
Paula Martin, Chief Executive of Cornwall Air Ambulance, said: “2018 was a very busy year for the charity. Not only have our missions increased substantially, but we also launched a £2.5m appeal to buy a new air ambulance, so that does add a certain amount of pressure to a small charity.
“We’ve had a fantastic response to our appeal so far and I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has donated. In the coming year, we need your support more than ever, to ensure we can reach our target and bring a faster and more powerful helicopter to Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly by April 2020.
“I would encourage everyone to do whatever they can to support the charity to reach this very important milestone.”