Rotary Club Of Warwick

Dec11 - Air Ambulance Service

Gill Thomas, a Regional Volunteer speaker for the Air Ambulance Service came to talk to the Rotary Club of Warwick this week as Rotary President David Brain has adopted them as his charity for the year.

Originally known as the Warwickshire and Northants Air Ambulance, they have been in existence since 2003 and are a charity funded by volunteers. In 2011 they came together with the Derbyshire, Leicester and Rutland Service to become the Air Ambulance Service. In 2013 the Children’s Air Ambulance was established as part of the group to move critically ill children to hospital. They have a charity shop in Warwick Market Square, one of over 35 which helps to raise money to keep the service running.

The Air Ambulance Service leases it’s familiar yellow and black helicopters, and operates from Baginton, Coventry and East Midlands airports, covering the centre of the country. Over £6million is needed each year to keep in the air with missions costing about £1,700 a time. Each aircraft has a pilot, paramedic and doctor employed by the service with space for just one patient and has to provide its own equipment and supplies. Over 16 years nearly 40,000 missions have been flown, with 3,613 flown in 2019 over 10 counties, taking patients to the nearest appropriate hospital to deal with their injuries. They now offer a night-care service with fast cars operating when the helicopters are unable to fly.

The majority of calls are to Road traffic accidents – 39%, with falls -9%, medical emergencies – 25%, sports injuries- 5%, industrial accidents – 5% and other 17%. The air ambulance is called in when the location is hard to reach and speed is crucial to save a life. Staff are highly trained in critical care and trauma and work closely with the other emergency services. All this is funded entirely through public donations, legacies and fundraising.

Thanking Gill for her presentation Rotarian John Hibben said it was important to recognise that volunteers such as herself were a vital part of the team, many of us had experience of their rescues and did not realise they received no public funding. The club is planning to visit them at Baginton next year. Collections are planned on Dec 13th & 20th and a substantial donation will be made at the end the Rotary year in July.

For further information see their websites, where you can also make a donation.

President David Brain thanks Gill for an excellent presentation