2022 mission numbers soar

Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance is on track to record its busiest year since before the pandemic.

Data from the first six months of 2022 reveals that the air ambulance charity responded to 791 emergency call-outs, an increase on the same periods in 2020 and 2021. The charity is forecasting a similar trajectory for the rest of the year, with signs of near pre-pandemic levels returning.

Of those 791 call-outs, crews responded to 279 cardiac-related incidents, making up 35% of the total missions, and 138 road traffic collisions (17%).

May was the busiest month of the year so far for the charity, with 158 missions logged – the most critical incidents in a single month since August 2020 (159).

First six months of 2022: 791
First six months of 2021: 756
First six months of 2020: 770
First six months of 2019: 1073

The potential reasons behind this increase are varied. However, the charity points to a perfect storm between life and regular activities returning to normal amid years of restrictions, as one of the key factors.

The charity’s CEO, Richard Corbett, says, “We’re not expecting 2022 to reach the levels of 2019 quite yet, but we must plan for these eventualities in the coming years. It is vital that those who can, continue to support us through this challenging period. Thank you to everyone who has helped us be there for those who need us.”

11,000 flights

As the temperatures in the cockpit soared throughout the recent heatwave, the charity attended its 11,000th mission in its aircraft on Monday 11 July.

That same day, the doctors, paramedics, pilots and dispatch assistants who make up the Critical Care Team responded to six emergency calls across the region – Basingstoke, Newbury, Southampton, Portsmouth, the South Downs and Alton – in both its helicopter and emergency response vehicles.

The charity has also responded to more than 4,500 missions in its emergency response vehicles since 2018, meaning the service has exceeded 15,500 call-outs since it launched in 2007.

To support the life-saving charity, please visit www.hiowaa.org/donate