Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance (HIOWAA) have marked the start of National Air Ambulance Week (NAAW) by announcing that they have been tasked to over 1000 emergencies so far this year.
The week shines the spotlight on the work of Air Ambulance charities across the country and celebrates the life-saving services they provide to local communities throughout the year. NAAW, led by the Association of Air Ambulances, runs from Monday (September 10) to Sunday (September 16).
Since January 1, the HIOWAA Critical Care Teams have responded to more than 1014 call outs, including road traffic collisions, cardiac arrests, sporting injuries, stabbings and many other incidents.
The Charity Critical Care Teams are made up of doctors, specialist critical care paramedics and pilots, who fly day and night, 365 days a year, to the region’s most sick and injured.
Alan Hilson from Bembridge, knows all too well how vital this life-saving service is. He was on a bike ride with friends when he had a heart attack and the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance landed minutes after the call.
He said: “The Air Ambulance is a vital service, particularly for the Isle of Wight. Being cut off from the mainland by that 35 minutes to an hour over a stretch of water; that could be the difference between life or death. We have all heard of people waiting for an ambulance on the Island. When they are all busy they cannot just get some more from the next county.”
“The fact that the Air Ambulance is not NHS funded is all the more reason to give this vital service our support, as individuals and as an Island.”
The life-saving service, now in its 11th year of operation, receives no government funding and relies entirely on the generosity of the public.
The charity needs to raise over £9,000 a day to keep the Air Ambulance flying and saving lives.
Director of fundraising, Rachel Leaman, is asking the community to show their support by becoming a HIOWAA Hero.
She said: “HIOWAA Heroes come in all forms! Some bake, some run, some climb mountains. HIOWAA Heroes are special people who make time to support us by doing something they love, or something that will challenge them. Any donation, big or small, makes a huge difference to our charity.
“Our free HIOWAA Hero fundraising pack will help kick-start your fundraising and I encourage everybody to download their own from our website today. Without your support, we simply couldn’t do what we do.”
To find out how you can become a HIOWAA Hero, visit the HIOWAA website here.