‘Busiest day of the year’ for Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance

Tuesday August 1 was the busiest day for the Ambucopter so far this year.
Tuesday August 1 was the busiest day for the Ambucopter so far this year.

No two days are ever the same for the crew of the Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance - and never was this more evident than yesterday (Tuesday) when their crew responded to five of the most serious 999 calls across Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire.

Tuesday started as usual with the morning briefing for the day’s crew - Chief Pilot Paul Smith, Co-pilot Llewis Ingamells, Paramedics Neil Clarke and Rich Irwin and Dr Dave Cookson - at the charity’s operational base at RAF Waddington.

It wasn’t long though, before the first call of the day came in just after 8am to a serious road traffic collision in Edingley, Nottinghamshire.

The crew immediately jumped into our new AW169 helicopter and were on scene in just 12 minutes. They treated a driver who had sustained a traumatic head injury and was trapped in his car. On-board medics assisted the land crew in releasing and stabilising the patient ready for transfer to Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham, by land.

From this incident, the crew was immediately dispatched to their second incident of the day, in Lincoln. The new helicopter crossed the county border and got to the patient in just 12 minutes – a journey that by land could have taken around 40 minutes.

Medics treated a patient who had fallen and was suffering with chest and back pain. The patient was stabilised and transported to hospital by land.

Back at base, the crew undertook a series of debriefs following the morning’s missions before the next call came in at 1.40pm, this time to a cyclist in Walcott, near Sleaford, who had fallen off their bike sustaining a serious leg injury.

The Ambucopter arrived on scene within 11 minutes and assisted land crew. Again, the patient was transported to hospital by land.

The crew were then able to land briefly at the Waddington Aircraft Viewing Area to meet some of their fundraisers, before being dispatched to their next mission at 3.30pm – a road traffic collision in Great Ponton, near Grantham, involving as motorcyclist.

Arriving on scene in just 17 minutes, the medics assisted the land crew in treating a rider suffering with a back injury. The patient was able to be transported to Peterborough Hospital by land and the crew arrived back at base at 4.44pm.

However, there was barely chance for a cup of tea before they were called out to another motorcyclist, this time at Gedney Hill, near Spalding.

The crew arrived and treated a patient who had sustained a traumatic head injury as well as a serious leg injury. Due to the seriousness and time-critical nature of the injuries, the crew airlifted the patient to Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham, arriving back to base at 7.34pm.

Paramedic Neil Clarke said: “Thanks to the greater endurance of our new helicopter, we were able to respond to five serious, possibly life-threatening, incidents yesterday – above our daily average of three missions.

“Our crew worked alongside the land ambulance crews, delivering advanced procedures and pain relief, as well as delivering a doctor to the scene within minutes of the call coming in, increasing the patient’s chances of survival.”

CEO Karen Jobling added: “Our Helicopter Emergency Medical Service has evolved significantly over the past two decades since the Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance was first established in 1994. Greater emphasis is now put on delivering high level pre-hospital critical care to patients at the scene of the accident or incident, including the advanced procedures that our highly trained medics and on-board doctor can provide to support the land ambulance crews.

“Patients can then be transported to the best hospital for their needs in the most appropriate way, which can be by land, sometimes accompanied in the land ambulance by one of our crew. Our helicopter can then be immediately available again to deliver life-saving care at the next life-threatening emergency as soon as possible, giving even more patients their best chance of survival possible. Yesterday was a great example of this team work, enhanced by the speed of our new helicopter.”

• To find out more about the charity, or to make a donation, visit ambucopter.org.uk.