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Lincs and Notts Air Ambulance records busiest year in history

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An air ambulance charity have claimed 2021 as the busiest year in their history.

A lot happened at Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance last year, from moving to a new headquarters to upgrading the helicopter.

The crew responded to more than 1,400 missions, which is a significant leap compared with 1,095 in 2020 and 877 in 2019.

The GLNCC crew.
The GLNCC crew.

“Just like many other charities, we went into 2021 not knowing what to expect,” said the charity’s chief executive, Karen Jobling.

“We had projects that were under way before the first lockdown so we had to dig in and keep going on those fronts, keeping in mind that they were all foundations for the future of the charity.

“This is what has enabled us to reach more patients this year.”

The addition of a second helicopter in the summer came in response to an anticipated surge in visitors to the Lincolnshire coast as lockdown measures eased.

Strubby Heli beach crew.
Strubby Heli beach crew.

This contributed to the rise in call-outs as it became the busiest summer the charity had ever had.

Throughout the year, additional, highly-skilled doctors and paramedics joined the crew, with some travelling from Aberdeen, Kent and even Lisbon to be part of the team.

This meant that by September, crews were able to respond day and night using a mix of the helicopter and critical care cars.

The charity teams and crew moved into a new, purpose-built headquarters in Lincoln — HEMS (Helicopter Emergency Medical Service) Way — in the summer and celebrated the official opening in September when the Earl of Wessex officially opened the building.

The air ambulance charity's new HQ.
The air ambulance charity's new HQ.

The clinical and aviation operation had formerly been based at RAF Waddington, with the staff situated in Bracebridge Heath, so the development of HEMS Way gave everyone the opportunity to be under one roof for the first time.

Another stride in clinical care came with the introduction of blood plasma.

Blood was already carried on board, but plasma was added because it is the component of blood that helps it to clot — integral to the care given at the scene of a traumatic incident, anywhere within the 3,500sq miles LNAA covers.

“Our crews continue to be out there and, just like their NHS colleagues, they are dealing with the added pressure and complexity the spread of covid brings,” said Karen.

“The only difference is that we are there purely because of the generous donations we receive from our communities.

“We are so pleased that we have been able to be there for more patients in 2021.

“Of course, with each mission costing on average £3,500, it comes at a cost.

“It is only because of the generosity of our supporters that more patients have been helped by a crew with the highest skills and standards in pre-hospital care. Everyone here at Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance would like to send all of our wonderful supporters our whole-hearted thanks.”

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