Pirate FM News

Where in Cornwall had the most rescues last year

air ambulance

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 7:03am 20th January 2019.

It has been revealed where in Cornwall had the most air ambulance rescues in 2018.

The life-saving helicopter was called out on 1,105 missions in total last year.

New data revealed by the charity shows that missions increased by more than 25% compared to 2017, putting extra pressure on the lifesaving charity which is funded by public donations.

A total of 774 missions were flown in the air ambulance MD902 helicopters, of these, 650 missions were to residents of Cornwall and 124 to visitors to the county.

A further 331 missions were carried out in the charity's critical care cars.

The top five areas with the most number of missions in 2018:

  1. Newquay: 61
  2. Isles of Scilly: 58
  3. Penzance: 50
  4. Bodmin: 41
  5. St Austell: 32
Cornwall Air Ambulance

"What we do is only possible thanks to donations from the people of Cornwall and beyond.

"Their support keeps us flying every year and ensures we can be there for seriously sick and injured patients in their hour of need.

"When it comes to saving lives every minute matters. As we respond to more calls year on year, it's important to be able to save time wherever possible to reach more people.

"We know a new air ambulance helicopter will allow us to do that, so we really hope everyone gets behind the New Heli Appeal this year and continues to help us save more lives in the years to come."

Steve Garvey, Air Operations Officer at Cornwall Air Ambulance

cornwall air ambulance 2018 stats

Throughout 2018, the air ambulance crew responded to 600 medical emergencies and 485 incidents where people suffered a serious trauma injury.

The crew also flew 20 inter-hospital transfers to ensure seriously ill patients could get the treatment they needed.

Statistics show that on average Friday was the busiest day of the week for the helicopter crew. The greatest number of calls throughout the year were received between 11am-12pm.

Cornwall Air Ambulance missions throughout 2018 included:

  • 358 heart-related emergencies 
  • 94 neuro-related emergencies 
  • 158 road traffic accidents 
  • 131 serious falls
  • 140 babies, children and teenagers treated (including 28 less than 1 year old)
  • 55 sporting injuries 
  • 20 horse riding injuries
  • 21 industrial/agricultural related injuries
  • 15 emergencies in the water (including surfers and swimmers)
Cornwall Air Ambulance

"2018 was a very busy year for the charity. Not only have our missions increased substantially, but we also launched a £2.5m appeal to buy a new air ambulance, so that does add a certain amount of pressure to a small charity.

"We've had a fantastic response to our appeal so far and I'd like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has donated.

"In the coming year, we need your support more than ever, to ensure we can reach our target and bring a faster and more powerful helicopter to Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly by April 2020.

"I would encourage everyone to do whatever they can to support the charity to reach this very important milestone."

Paula Martin, Chief Executive of Cornwall Air Ambulance

You can find out more about Cornwall Air Ambulance and donate here.

air ambulance 3

Case study

Elva Griffin was on her way to a routine medical appointment when the car she was travelling in collided with a van on the A30 at Connor Downs.

The collision, which happened on Tuesday 19th June at 2.30pm, left her trapped in the car with significant injuries.

"On the day of my accident, my father-in-law was ironically taking me to a hospital appointment at Treliske.

"We noticed a Transit van was at an odd angle in the road, we tried to get out the way but it just came at us.

"There was an almighty bang and everything went black.

"The next thing I know there's people running around and all the emergency services appeared so quickly."

The Police, Fire Service and South Western Ambulance Service were all scrambled to the incident.

After suffering a pelvic injury, Elva had to be cut free from the car.

Elva Griffin - cornwall air ambulance

"I heard someone saying get the air ambulance. So much was going on, I didn't really know what I'd done so that was quite frightening. I was worried about my daughter and family."

Cornwall Air Ambulance was tasked at 3pm and was airborne within two minutes.

The pilot and crew landed on the A30 at 3.20pm. Critical care paramedics Thomas Hennessy Jones and Jeremy Griffiths administered enhanced pain relief to Elva at the scene, before she was airlifted to Derriford Hospital for further treatment.

Elva spent more than two weeks in Derriford Hospital, before being transferred to Bodmin hospital for a further week.

She suffered a broken wrist and a back injury which left her unable to walk for several weeks.

Several months after the accident, and well on the road to recovery, Elva was moved to nominate Thomas for an emergency services award for the care he showed her that day.

"Everyone was just so good. It's nice to say thank you and to have some sort of recognition. The air ambulance does an amazing job and being just a charity I don't expect they get the thanks and recognition that really they should."

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