Air ambulance marks more than a decade of helping to save lives

MORE than 8,000 incidents have been attended across the county by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance and the team are celebrating their anniversary.

Saturday, 7th July 2018, 7:56 pm
Updated Tuesday, 17th July 2018, 6:43 pm
HIOWAAvolunteers, left to right, Anthony Smyth, Mick Hughes, Ricjard Allison and Jay King at Farehams 999 Day

Operations first began on July 1 in 2007 and since then the Air Ambulance has been tasked to 7,906 incidents across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight while the Critical Care Team vehicle, which began operations in February 2017, has responded to over 858 call outs.

The team is marking its 11th birthday and the thousands of lives they have helped to save.

Chief Executive of Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance (HIOWAA) Alex Lochrane said: '˜HIOWAA's vision is to always provide exceptional critical care to the sick and injured in their hour of need, both in Hampshire and on the Isle of Wight.

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'˜We have come a long way in the past 11 years and we continue to strive to be the best at what we do.

'˜Sunday, July 1 is a significant milestone for HIOWAA and as our service evolves in the future, the needs of our patients will always be kept at the heart of all we do.'

All HIOWAA paramedics are now trained to become specialist paramedics and are enrolled with the University of Southampton on a Postgraduate Diploma in Advanced Clinical Practice.

In addition, HIOWAA is now one of the country's officially recognised Pre-Hospital Emergency Medicine (PHEM) training centres which provides senior doctors the chance to train as specialist PHEM doctors and fly as part of the Critical Care Team.

The combination of a PHEM doctor, working alongside a specialist paramedic, allows the charity's Critical Care Teams to carry out highly specialised procedures, normally only possible within a hospital emergency department.

The ability to provide medical knowledge, skill and to carry out additional medical procedures before a patient reaches hospital, is only possible because of the generosity of thousands of people across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

A HIOWAA spokesperson said: '˜As well as carrying blood and fresh frozen plasma on board the air ambulance, we now carry a range of highly specialised equipment, normally found only in the hospital emergency department.

'˜Recent additions include a Video Laryngoscope, an innovative device used by the Critical Care Teams when they encounter difficult airways during the administration of pre-hospital emergency anaesthesia.'