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Midlands Air Ambulance Saves Lives One Day at a Time


Many of the UK's best air ambulance rescue teams have been around longer than most people would think. In the past 25 years, air ambulances have become firmly entrenched in the work of emergency services personnel throughout various counties and territories.

These rescue teams are populated by hard-working, life-savers who regularly encounter a number of exciting yet highly perilous situations. Helen Stevens tells Air Charter Service about some of the more recent cases which have been notable in the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity team's logbook:

Midlands Air Ambulance Charity

As we've just celebrated our 24th anniversary, I wanted to give you an insight into the world of Midlands Air Ambulance Charity, and the lifesaving service that covers your county.

As one of the largest and busiest air ambulance HEMS (Helicopter Emergency Medical Service) operators in the UK, we have three state-of-the-art EC135 helicopters, which are based out of RAF Cosford in Shropshire, Tatenhill in Staffordshire, and of course Strensham in Worcestershire – the only air ambulance based directly on a motorway network in the UK.

Our airbases are strategically located so, once airborne, the air ambulances can reach any part of the 5,500 square miles covered by the service in the quickest possible time, and with a top speed of approximately 150 mph, 90 per cent of the Midlands region can be reached in just eight minutes flying time.

In addition to the patient, each aircraft has the capacity to carry a crew comprising the pilot and two critical care flight paramedics; or a pilot, flight paramedic and flight doctor, who can all offer the very best standard of care at the scene of an incident.

A great deal of research has gone into the design and fitting of the medical equipment within each helicopter. As there is limited space available, it is vital that the equipment and medicines are situated in the best possible position for ease of access, both at the scene of the accident and in the air en route to the most appropriate specialist hospital.

We are called out, on average, to six to eight incidents each day and since our conception 24 years ago, back in 1991, we have undertaken over 42,000 air ambulance missions. The highest proportion of calls-outs during the last 12 months mostly involved road traffic collisions, medical emergencies (including heart attacks and strokes) and falls, followed by horse riding accidents, sporting injuries, industrial and farm accidents and drownings.

As a regional charity, we need people's continued support to enable us to maintain our vitally important lifesaving operation in the six Midlands counties, including Worcestershire. Please log on to our website to find our more about how to donate and volunteering opportunities.

Midlands Air Ambulance Charity
Midlands Air Ambulance Charity
Ben from Bridgnorth
Ben from Bridgnorth

"Ben was in a great deal of pain, and thanks to the swift response of the Midlands Air Ambulance, Ben was on his way to hospital within minutes."

Ben from Bridgnorth finished his third day at high school and was travelling home on the school bus with his classmates and best friend Josh. Seconds later, Ben was unconscious and in desperate need of medical attention.

While stepping off the bus, Ben attempted to cross the road when a car overtaking the bus hit Ben head on at 25mph. Due to the impact; Ben's young body flew into the air, where he landed on the bonnet and windscreen of the vehicle.

Greg, Ben's father, comments: "It's the call no parent ever wants to receive. The accident happened close to home, so Ben's mom was able to rush to the scene, only to find him in a terrible state, falling in and out of consciousness."

As Ben was struggling to retain consciousness, the land crew paramedics made the swift decision to call the Midlands Air Ambulance, as Ben needed hospital treatment immediately and the journey would have taken over 30 minutes by land ambulance.

Flight paramedics Ian Roberts and Andy Hayles from Midlands Air Ambulance's Strensham airbase in Worcestershire were alerted to the incident were on scene in a few minutes.

Critical care paramedic, Ian Roberts, states: "Ben was struggling to stay conscious, so we decided to airlift him to New Cross Hospital in Wolverhampton, which took just five minutes."

While at New Cross Hospital, Ben was examined and X-rayed and discharged from hospital. He returned to school a few days after the incident and is now able to enjoy all the activities a 12-year old should, including his two favourite sports, football and basketball.

Greg adds: "We can't thank the team at Midlands Air Ambulance enough for making Ben so comfortable in his hour of need. The treatment and pain relief given at the roadside, and the quick transfer to the hospital was extremely reassuring."

Ben is one of the many patients the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity saves in the course of a year and if not for the quick-thinking of the land paramedics, who knows what could have happened to him. It has become critical to a country's emergency action preparations that it has a series of well-developed, well-staffed and well-equipped emergency air rescue teams for its citizens. The continued efforts of the air rescue personnel is not only heartening but also helps people to remain aware of possible help in scenarios where land ambulances are too slow. If ever there was a need for citizens to help with the financial upkeep of organisations focusing on the public good, helping air ambulance teams raise funds is such a need. With many teams remaining cash-strapped, the public is urged to help however they can.

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