Air Ambulance responds to record number of calls this summer

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The Thames Valley & Chiltern Air Ambulance attended a record number of emergency calls in July – up nearly 40 per cent on the previous month.

As temperatures soared in July, an increasing number of people were getting out on motorbikes, horses and in cars, leading to an increase in emergency calls of 37 per cent from June.

The record number of 111 missions attended was more than the average of 80 over the past three months and 40 per cent more than the overall average for 2013 which stands at 67 missions a month.

Sarah Williamson, TVCAA head of fundraising, said: “When we’ve got lovely weather you see people getting out on motorbikes and horses and you see the traffic increasing as people travel as they go on holidays.

“Also older people are at higher risk in the extreme weather so we can find ourselves busier. However, the crews take it all in their stride and continue doing an amazing job.”

Crews travel in all weathers in an ambulance that does not have air conditioning, wearing flight suits, helmets and carrying their various equipment.

Nowadays they are equipped with all sorts of machinery, including a portable ultrasound machine. They also travel with a doctor on board and fresh blood so that blood transfusions can be carried out at the scene if necessary.

“Research carried out by the military showed that the rate of recovery is increased if patients get fresh blood into their bodies as quickly as possible,” added Mrs Williamson.