LONDON – This month, the charitable organisation Hampshire & Isle of Wight Air Ambulance celebrates 15 years of air rescue operations.
15 years and 15,000 emergencies later…
From the operations first flight on 1 July 2007, the team of doctors, paramedics, pilots and dispatch assistants who make up the charity’s Critical Care Team have been called out to over 15,000 emergencies across the region and beyond.
It is now 15 years on from that first flight, and the air ambulance crews are currently tasked to around four emergency missions every day. The flexibility of helicopter operations permits them to provide advanced life-saving care which is usually found in a hospital emergency department.
From their flying doctor – Dr David Sutton…
As one of the longest-serving members pf the air ambulance team, Dr David Sutton has now flown with the airborne charity since its inception.
In its latest press release, Dr Sutton has praised the ‘amazing support’ from the public who have kept them flying and saving lives.
Throughout the years, Dr Sutton has witnessed and treated almost every injury and illness imaginable, from an armed robbery in Chandler’s Ford to performing open heart surgery in a patient’s house.
Recalling the open heart surgery, Dr Sutton said:
“The patient had been stabbed in the left side of his heart. My paramedic colleague, Mike, and I simultaneously opened the casualty’s chest on the landing of the house, exposed the heart, emptied the sack around the heart full of blood and found a single hole in the left ventricle.”
“I then blocked the hole whilst Mike transfused blood.”
Now hanging up his flying suit for good, Dr Sutton has thanked the generosity from the public who have allowed him and his colleagues to carry out their life-saving work, 365 days a year, saying:.
“Quite simply, we would not have the service we do without the amazing support we have had from the public. Thanks to everyone over the years who has played their part.”
From patient Claire Danson…
One of those 15,000 patients assisted by Hampshire & Isle of Wight Air Ambulance was 32-year-old Claire Danson. As an aspiring professional triathlete, Claire’s dream was almost realised, until she collided with a tractor during a routine cycle ride, leaving her paralysed from the waist down.
The air ambulance team attended and provided Claire with specialist treatment before flying her to hospital.
Claire said: “You effectively wake up one day and your body is completely different to how you’ve ever known it. That can make you feel quite differently about yourself.”
“I had limited knowledge of the air ambulance before my accident, but me and my family know that I wouldn’t be alive today without them.”
Aviation & a dedicated team saving lives…
Aviation is a joy for many dedicated Av Geeks and flying buffs. The air ambulance charity is a shining example of aviation and dedicated men and women coming together to save lives.
The air ambulance service receives no government funding, an it must bear the costs of an average £3,320 for every emergency mission.
For people wanting to support the life-saving charity for its 15th birthday, they can donate via the charity’s website: www.hiowaa.org