In August 2016 Cornwall Air Ambulance undertook its 26,000th mission since it began as the UK’s first air ambulance service in 1987.
The milestone mission was to aid a toddler who had injured his head in a fall from a wall in Boscastle while on holiday. The paramedic aircrew was the first emergency service on scene and flew the little boy and his mother to North Devon District Hospital in 22 minutes.
Paula Martin, chief executive of Cornwall Air Ambulance said: “Cornwall Air Ambulance receives no government funding for rescue missions so the charity’s supporters can be extremely proud to have enabled more than 26,000 missions to be undertaken. For the last 29 years their generosity has helped our paramedics to save thousands of lives.”
Throughout an extremely busy July and August Cornwall Air Ambulance was called to more than 170 missions throughout Cornwall, more than 20 of which were for children and babies.
Throughout the summer the number of patients who were visiting the county equalled those who are resident. The majority of the summer’s missions were to aid patients who had been injured through accidents.
There was a significant increase in the number of patients injured in road traffic collisions which resulted in the air ambulance being called out 35 times during the school holidays.
Coastal areas were more visited than during any other months in the year. Unusually, the air ambulance was needed six times in Sennen during August and was required to attend two different medical emergencies on Sennen beach twice on the same day. Outside of summer, Sennen is often not visited even once in a month.
Since Sennen is remote and the summer traffic notoriously heavy, the air ambulance is the fastest form of transport, taking less than 20 minutes to reach the area.
A female visitor fell more than 60 feet while climbing at Sennen. She was winched by HM Coastguard Search and Rescue team before being treated on-board by a Cornwall Air Ambulance paramedic enroute to Derriford Hospital in Plymouth.
The air ambulance was tasked to aid a family holidaying in Newquay that was swept into the harbour by large waves. The aircrew treated family members on scene and flew the father to Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro.
Cornwall Air Ambulance also helped a young woman who was injured in a fall from a wall in St Ives. They flew her to Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro in just 15 minutes.
Next year Cornwall Air Ambulance celebrates 30 years of saving lives.