As the number of 999 calls to emergency services across Devon continues to rise, South West Ambulance Service Foundation Trust (SWASFT) have approached Devon Air Ambulance (DAA) for help.

During the current surge of the COVID-19 pandemic, the southwest is experiencing unprecedented demand on its hospitals and Ambulance Service. As the number of 999 calls to emergency services across Devon continues to rise, South West Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) have approached Devon Air Ambulance (DAA) and asked if they can support them with additional specialist care support during these unprecedented times.

From this Friday, DAA are pleased to be able to help alleviate some of this additional pressure by adding a third emergency response vehicle to their own fleet, enabling them to help more patients to receive the care they urgently need.
 
The third car, fitted out with the same medical kit as you would find onboard the existing vehicles has been kindly provided on loan, from their colleagues at Volvo Cars UK.  Staffed with Critical Care Paramedics, the Volvo XC60 will create additional resource for the 999 operators to call upon.

Darren Goodwin, Operations Manager told us:

“We are very grateful to Volvo Cars UK and Kastners Exeter, who came to our aid during the outbreak of the pandemic last year. They kindly supplied a third car on loan to us then, which alongside our existing vehicles, enabled us to continue to respond to patients when our Helicopters were temporarily grounded to be made Covid-Safe.”

“Almost a year later, they have come to our aid again and we are pleased to have been able to get this additional vehicle up and running so quickly to support our colleagues on the frontline at SWASFT. This extra resource will enable an additional medical team to deliver their expert enhanced and critical care to those that need emergency treatment as soon as possible.”

Devon Air Ambulance receives no Government funding, operating as an independent charity, they are funded by the kindness and generosity of the people of Devon and beyond. The charity already serves the county by responding to medical emergencies with two Helicopters and 2 Volvo XC90 Critical Care Cars based at Exeter Airport and the North Devon airbase, Eaglescott.

Emergency departments are also under pressure receiving patients as quickly as they can. The public can help by only calling 999 for life-threatening emergencies. For urgent medical advice please go to 111.nhs.uk. or dial 111 for medical advice.

This past year has put immense pressures on the entire NHS, but this example of collaboration between Devon Air Ambulance and their colleagues in the NHS ambulance service and hospitals will ensure that together, the people of Devon continue to receive the best level of patient care possible.