This week Devon Air Ambulance has confirmed that 2018 was the busiest year in its 27 years of operation, having assisted 1,109 patients, an increase of 12% from the previous year.

Nigel Hare, Operations Director for Devon Air Ambulance said

We knew we had been busier, and in fact have helped an additional 119 patients in 2018.

He added:

Trauma related incidents, for example, road traffic collisions and accidental injuries, equated to 49% of the patients we responded to, with the remaining 51% being medical emergencies, e.g. heart attacks or breathing problems. We are here for all ages and 121 of our missions (11%) were to under 18s. We also attended two patients who were over 100!

Heléna Holt, CEO of Devon Air Ambulance added:

Keeping the service airborne last year cost £7.5 million. Raising this amount to ensure the stability of the service is a huge task but being able to further extend our service to 2am really is testament to the fantastic supporters we have throughout Devon.

Further interesting stats:

  • The busiest time of the day is between 12 and 1pm
  • There was no road access to 6% of the missions attended
  • We were first on the scene at 16% of missions attended
  • We undertook 53 jobs where both of our Air Ambulances were received, with a further 36 where a neighbouring Air Ambulance was also in attendance
  • 26% of our patients were taken to a specialist treatment rather than the one closest, which gives them the best chance of a successful outcome
  • Our critical care paramedics used their advanced clinical skills on 287 occasions
  • The busiest day of the week is a Friday
  • Road traffic collisions equated to 238 (almost a third of the 732 trauma jobs attended)
  • We attended 70 motorcyclists, an increase of 20% on the previous year
  • 62 of our missions were to equestrian-related incidents
  • The most common trauma injury treated was to the head, with leg injuries coming a close second and the chest third

Devon Air Ambulances is 100% independent and very much a charity that is by and for the people of Devon. If you would like to help support us there are all sorts of ways you can lend your help, from regular or occasional volunteering, setting up a regular gift or a fundraising event, to remembering us in your will or making a one-off donation. It is our supporters who keep Devon's Air Ambulances flying.