April 12: Air ambulance charity has busiest week on record

April 12: Air ambulance sees surge in incidents

Great Western Air Ambulance Charity attended more than 50 incidents across the South West on the week beginning April 12. - Credit: GWAAC

Great Western Air Ambulance Charity (GWAAC) recorded its busiest week on record last week as North Somerset entered phase two of the Government's lockdown roadmap.

The charity's services were called out more than 50 times from April 12-18 - with 11 call outs on April 16 alone.

This time last year, GWAAC attended 77 incidents across the whole month of April.

REVEALED: the cost of each air ambulance call out

GWAAC's chief executive, Anna Perry. - Credit: GWAAC

Chief executive, Anna Perry revealed the difficulty the charity faces to continue operating as demands increase.

Ms Perry said: “The challenge we now face is that we’re seeing the need for our service increase rapidly at a time when we have had a lengthy period of not being able to fundraise as usual.

"We do not know if the demand for our services will increase even more, but as the weather gets warmer more people are doing outdoor pursuits and travelling more, and this usually leads to an increase in trauma incidents."

GWAAC receives no day-to-day funding from the NHS or UK Government and instead relies solely on public donations to afford the £2,000 cost for each call-out it makes.

Air ambulance charity has busiest week on record

Each call-out costs the charity around £2,000 to attend. - Credit: GWAAC

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Ms Perry added: "The challenges we have faced over the past 12 months are going to hit us harder as we get busier, which is why support from the public is so vital for our service – we need their support so we can be there when we are needed.”

In total, GWAAC attended 52 incidents last week.

April 12 week almost matches last April's entire number of air ambulance call-outs

The week commencing April 12 almost matched the number of call-outs for the whole of April 2020. - Credit: GWAAC

Recently, the service reopened its store in Westbury-on-Trym and recorded £4,000 in sales - more than double what it had expected to raise.

More fundraisers have been planned since April 12's reopening measures took place, including a sponsored abseiling event.

Places are still available to put yourself forward for the event, which takes place in Uphill and will be GWAAC's first in-person fundraiser since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

For more information on the GWAAC's work or to donate log on to www.greatwesternairambulance.com

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