This summer, Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance (LNAA) will expand its life-saving service with a second helicopter responding to emergencies on the Lincolnshire coast.
As the UK emerges from COVID restrictions and families take up more staycations, it is anticipated that there will be an influx of visitors to the county’s popular seaside destinations.
The charity is already seeing a rise in missions across its patch and was deployed to 148 emergencies in April this year, compared with 49 over the same period last year.
In anticipation of the busy summer ahead, LNAA will have a Critical Care Car dedicated to the east coast from 1 June and the helicopter will take over from 21 June until 31 August.
LNAA’s Medical Director, Doctor Gareth Davies, was the lead consultant on the Paddington rail disaster, was a medical commander at the 7/7 bombings and oversaw the team that treated the victims at the Westminster Bridge terror attacks in 2017.
“As COVID restrictions lift, this summer has the potential to be one like no other,” he said.
“There are of course many great things about that, but we are also mindful of why that could also mean more incidents where someone’s life is in danger in a busy tourist area like the Lincolnshire coast.
“The need for our service if what drives us and we must respond as an organisation to the possibility that we will be needed much more than usual along the coast this summer. This has given us the push to go that extra mile and put a second helicopter into service for the summer period.
“We will collate all of that data and what we learn from the process will inform how we move forwards as an organisation but for now, we’re gearing up to be there when people need us this summer.”
The second helicopter, an AW109 will be on call from Strubby Airfield, close to Mablethorpe. Although a different colour, the helicopter will have the Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance name and carry the same life-saving medical equipment as our iconic yellow helicopter.
The charity’s highly trained doctors and paramedics will be on board, bringing the emergency department to the patient with the ability to give blood transfusions, deliver an emergency anaesthetic, and even perform surgery at the roadside.
“This second air ambulance will be an invaluable resource that will be utilised in an area of the county which can get exceptionally busy during the summer months,” said Richard Hunter, Ambulance Operations Manager for the Lincolnshire Division of East Midlands Ambulance Service.
“We often use the air ambulance for patients who have experienced a traumatic injury so every second counts following the 999 call being made.”
Karen Jobling, LNAA’s CEO, said: “Exceptional times call for exceptional measures and if we can save more lives by providing this service along that busy stretch of our coast as many people staycation this year, then that is what we will do.
“It’s been a tough year for the charity sector and for LNAA we have seen around £1m loss in projected fundraising income. We know the situation could have been worse and it’s only thanks to our amazing supporters that we’ve been able to get through it and have the ability to provide this additional Helicopter Emergency Medical Service to people on the Lincolnshire coast this summer.”