Increased demand for skills of Wiltshire Air Ambulance in Swindon

By Jamie Hill - 2 February 2019


Wiltshire Air Ambulance was called out to the Swindon area every two days, on average, during 2018.

As the total number of missions rose last year by 26%, the charity has revealed how often it was called out across the county and the largest number of call outs - 182 - were in the Swindon area. This was an increase of 76 on 2017.

The Swindon area is the town itself and surrounding villages including Blunsdon, Wanborough and Wroughton.

Other areas where the team were called to included Royal Wootton Bassett 11, Cricklade 3, and Highworth 1.

Locations where Wiltshire Air Ambulance was called to once a week, on average, were the Melksham area (82), the Chippenham area (79), the Devizes area (75), the Salisbury area (68) and the Trowbridge area (63).

Overall, the total number of missions undertaken in 2018 by Wiltshire Air Ambulance were 1,103, up by 228 on the previous year. The charity’s helicopter flew 494 missions while its paramedics responded to 609 incidents in Rapid Response Vehicles (cars).

Wiltshire Air Ambulance operates until 3am and more than one in three of its missions last year were undertaken at night.

The largest number of call outs were to cardiac emergencies, 248 - almost one in four of the total incidents - while 220 - one in five incidents - were to road traffic collisions and one in ten incidents - 109 - involved children. In addition the team were called to 62 sporting accidents with almost half, 28, involving horse riders.

The charity announced last week that its annual costs have risen by 15% to £3.75 million a year. This means it has to raise just over £10,000 a day to keep its lifesaving service operational. It is not funded directly by the Government and receives no National Lottery grants.

David Philpott, chief executive of Wiltshire Air Ambulance, said: “The call out figures for 2018 show there was an increased demand for our essential lifesaving service. When our helicopter is unable to fly our critical care paramedics are available to respond to medical emergencies in Rapid Response Vehicles. These vehicles have the same specialist medical equipment that is on-board our helicopter.

“We are only able to keep saving lives thanks to the generosity of the public and businesses who make donations. If you would like to support us, please get in touch by calling the charity team on 01225 300536 or email”

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