Latest figures demonstrate need for Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance
Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance has released its statistics for 2012 and confirmed that they attended 615 incidents last year and have now flown over 9,150 missions since its launch in March, 2000.
Of the incidents attended, 323 were in Somerset and 279 took place in Dorset with the outstanding number being on the borders of Avon, Devon, Wiltshire and Hampshire.
The busiest month of the year for the service was August with 72 call-outs, followed by July with 62 emergencies. The busiest day of the week was a Saturday.
Of the 615 incidents attended, 280 were of a medical nature, 125 were road traffic incidents and one hundred and eight patients were treated with trauma symptoms. Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance attended 96 sporting or leisure incidents with 47% being of an equestrian nature. The outstanding number of mission's flown were hospital transfers totalling six.
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Of the patients flown to hospital, 25% were taken to Dorset County Hospital in Dorchester, 21% to Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton and 18% to the Royal United Hospital, Bath. Frenchay Hospital in Bristol received 12% of patients, Southampton General Hospital 6% and Poole General Hospital 5%. Others were flown to Royal Bournemouth, Royal Devon & Exeter, Salisbury District, Swansea, Weston General and Yeovil Hospitals.
DSAA Chief Executive Officer Bill Sivewright said, "Every one of the missions we fly is the result of somebody suffering a potentially life-threatening injury or accident.
"We have helped to save countless lives over the years because we can reach any part of the two counties in 19 minutes and we know that patients who receive treatment within the first hour - the 'Golden Hour' as it's known - have a much better chance of survival.
"The 615 incidents that we attended during 2012, clearly demonstrates the need for our Air Ambulance. The funds raised by the people of Dorset and Somerset have, of course, been vital to delivering the service and we are grateful to them for their generous support.
"We rely entirely on donations to raise the £4,000 a day it costs to keep our helicopter flying and we do not receive any direct Government or National Lottery funding.
"Without the support of individuals, businesses and organisations throughout Dorset and Somerset, we simply could not keep going."