Air ambulance records 4,000th mission

Air ambulance in action
Air ambulance in action
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The pilot who flew the Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance’s first ever rescue mission has flown their 4,000th one too.

The Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance (DLRAA) has attended its milestone 4,000th rescue since the charity started back in January, 2008.

From accidents up in the rural areas of the Peak District, to road accidents on some of Britain’s major motorways, the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) is always on hand to help provide emergency treatment and transport, serving a population of over 1.4 million and saving lives across the counties.

Based at East Midlands Airport, DLRAA first flew in January 2008. Pilot Shaun Tinkler Rose who flew that very first mission, also flew the 4,000th.

Since the first rescue, DLRAA have flown to a variety of different missions. Road traffic accidents are the most common call out, but equestrian accidents are also high equating for 11% of all missions, with falls being the third most common call out at 10%.

Being based near to the Peak District, DLRAA often get called to climbing and walking accidents, and they’ve also had some more unusual incidents, such as the two cases of decompression sickness that they treated recently.

Shaun says: “As a pilot for DLRAA, I really do never know what’s around the corner, where we’re going to be flying to next. I have landed in all sorts of places and attended many different accidents and injuries. I’ve learnt a great deal from seeing the paramedics and doctors in action, and I love knowing that my work is making a difference and potentially saving lives.”

DLRAA were called to their milestone mission after a car collided with a tractor just north of Peterborough – and coincidentally Shaun was on duty again, 3,999 missions after he flew to the first one.

Talking about the 4,000th rescue, he says: “The casualty, a female in her 20s, was suffering from a suspected fractured hip and arm so our first step was for our paramedics to immobilise her. Immobilisation prevents the injured limbs from moving during the journey which prevents further damage.

“We then airlifted her to major trauma centre University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire for further treatment.”

At the end of 2011, DLRAA became part of The Air Ambulance Service, alongside Warwickshire & Northamptonshire Air Ambulance (WNAA) and The Children’s Air Ambulance.

Talking about how the organisation has changed over the four years, Shaun says: “Since forming in 2008, DLRAA has gone from strength to strength. Becoming part of The Air Ambulance Service means we can now provide collaborative HEMS at the scene of major accidents and over the summer months we stagger ourselves with our sister service WNAA to ensure that communities from all five counties have HEMS when they need it.

“We’ve also developed our HEMS so that we really are providing high quality pre-hospital care at the scene of accidents. We don’t just transport patients, our doctors and paramedics are highly skilled in providing treatments prior to arrival at hospital, which improves a patient’s chances of survival and recovery.”

“I’m looking forward to seeing this organisation continue to grow and to continue saving more lives.”

Each rescue mission that DLRAA attend costs approximately £1,400 and as the Charity receives no National Lottery or Government funding, it relies on public donations to keep it in the skies.

For more information on how you can help DLRAA continue their lifesaving work, please visit: www.dlraa.org.uk