Our charity partner for 2022 is the Dorset & Somerset Air Ambulance, a registered charity established to provide relief from sickness and injury for the people of Dorset and Somerset by the provision of an air ambulance service, with an air and road-delivered critical care capability. The organisation receives no direct funding from the Government or the National Lottery and relies on the generosity of the public for support. Their operational costs are over £5 million a year and the approximate cost per mission is £3,000.
Since their launch in 2000 they have flown thousands of missions. They are tasked as part of the normal ‘999’ emergency process by a dedicated Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) desk located at Ambulance Control (paid for by the South West Air Ambulance Charities) and can attend up to eight or nine incidents in a single day.
Their airbase is situated at Henstridge Airfield on the Dorset/Somerset border. From there, they can be at any point in the two counties in less than 20 minutes. More importantly, the helicopter can, if required, then take a patient to the nearest major trauma centre in the South West within a further 20 minutes.
Find out more at www.dsairambulance.org.uk