Warwick Rotarians learn about the work of the Air Ambulance Service

Members of the Warwick Rotary Club recently heard about the work of the Air Ambulance Service.

Sunday, 22nd December 2019, 6:00 am

Gill Thomas, a regional volunteer speaker for the Air Ambulance Service, recently came to talk to the Warwick Rotary Club 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.

Gill Thomas, a regional volunteer speaker for the Air Ambulance with Warwick Rotary President David Brain. Photo submitted

They have a charity shop in Market Place in Warwick one of more than 35 which helps to raise money to keep the service running.

The Air Ambulance Service leases the yellow and black helicopters, and operates from Baginton, Coventry and East Midlands airports, covering the centre of the country.

More than £6 million 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.

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 Rotary Club is are planning to visit the Air Ambulance Service at Baginton next year.