10:31 Thursday 13 February 2014

Midlands Air ambulance road accident main issue

Written byROB SMYTH

NEW statistics have revealed a breakdown of the work undertaken by the air ambulance which covers Burton.

Bosses at Midlands Air Ambulance told the Mail that 18 per cent of missions take place in or around the town, with the highest number of call-outs relating to road smashes.

Other major issues that saw the helicopter dispatched from its Tatenhill Airfield Base included sport and leisure injuries, falls and trauma.

A spokesman for the charity said: “Our air ambulance aircraft is called out on a mission on average three to four times a day.

“On occasions the flight crews are stood down for reasons such as a land ambulance being nearer to an accident or arriving first on the scene to assess the situation, releasing the air ambulance to be utilised elsewhere.

“As you can imagine, helicopters are incredibly complex aircraft and therefore very expensive to maintain.

“It costs £25 per minute to fly each of our aircraft, which equates to £1,500 per hour.”

The Midlands Air Ambulance is the only charity responsible for funding and operating three air ambulances serving the communities of Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Worcestershire and the West Midlands.

This constitutes the largest air ambulance operating region in the UK.

Since 1991, the charity has responded to more than 38,000 missions, averaging 3,000 per year or nearly 10 each day, making it one of the longest established and busiest air ambulance organisations in the UK.

The charity’s three aircraft each carry a crew comprising a pilot, two paramedics or flight doctors, plus full life support medical equipment.

The maximum flying time to hospital from anywhere in the region is fewer than 15 minutes.

More than £6 million is needed each year to keep the charity fully operational.

More information is available online at www.midlandsairambulance.com

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