Latest figures from Midlands Air Ambulance Charity demonstrate the number of road traffic collisions (RTCs) the service attended remained steady in 2018, only rising by one per cent year on year, but the severity of incident call outs continues to be critical.
Following a significant increase in the number of RTCs the charity attended in 2017 in comparison to 2016, (23 per cent) the recent one per cent increase has come as welcome news to the charity.
However, it’s not all good news as Ian Roberts, air operations manager for Midlands Air Ambulance Charity, explains: “The fact the total number of RTC call outs only rose by one per cent in 2018 is encouraging. Saying this, we still attended 672 RTCs last year, and given the advanced skillset of the aircrew and equipment we bring to the scene, we are predominantly called to the most severe incidents, many of which are unfortunately life threatening.”
Due to further investment into the vitally important service, in 2018 year a flight doctor was on board Midlands Air Ambulance Charity’s three helicopters 60 per cent of operational time (an increase of 12 per cent year on year). Supported by a highly skilled critical care paramedic, a flight doctor is able to perform hospital procedures at the roadside, including sedation, anaesthesia and amputation, which in several instances are lifesaving techniques. This demonstrates how important the charity’s pre-hospital service is in a critical emergency.
Midlands Air Ambulance Charity’s Drive4Life campaign in partnership with longstanding corporate partner, M6toll, highlights the cost of attending RTCs to the charity. As each air ambulance mission costs £2,500, RTCs cost the charity £1.68million in 2018, which is funded through the generosity of the communities it serves and local businesses.
James Hodson, M6toll director of motorway operations and facilities, said: “While statistically the M6toll is one of the safest motorways in the UK, we are always grateful for the lifesaving support of the Midlands Air Ambulance if accidents do occur.
“We are proud to support this valuable campaign, helping to communicate vital road safety messages to drivers across the Midlands and beyond as well as raising funds to keep the air ambulance service in this region.”
Emma Gray, fundraising and marketing director for Midlands Air Ambulance Charity, added: “As a service which operates solely on donations, it’s extremely important we continue to raise funds to ensure we can respond to patients in need of our assistance. This is why, in partnership with M6toll, we are encouraging the automotive industry, including car dealerships, insurance firms and haulage companies to join our Drive4Life campaign and help raise vital funds to support our three air ambulance helicopters.”