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Air ambulance asks for support during Air Ambulance Week

Air Ambulance Week 2023 takes place between September 4-10 and is dedicated to raising awareness and funds for the vital life-saving work of air ambulance charities across the UK.

During the week, Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance is asking the public to support their life-saving work by donating £10 to their cause, enabling them to be there for patients, today, tomorrow and in the future.

Since March 2000, Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance has been there for critically ill and injured people when they need them the most. The enhanced skills of their team, specialist equipment and drugs that they carry, along with the speed of their response, can make the difference between life and death.

The service they provide for the local community is 95% funded by charitable giving. Last year, they attended 2,424 incidents, with each mission costing approximately £3,500.

The charity has come a long way over the past 20+ years.

The first pioneering team consisted of one pilot and two paramedics who were operational only during daylight hours a few days a week. Now, the charity has enough crew members to make sure that for 19 hours a day, 365 days a year, every shift is covered by a highly skilled critical care team, consisting of at least one critical care doctor, one specialist practitioner, a pilot and a co-pilot. They operate day and night and together they work tirelessly to save lives.

The pilots use their incredible flying skills to reach patients in the local community, often in remote locations, by the roadside, in a park or on a beach. The clinical team provides complex and life-saving interventions at the scene of the incident.

Together, they bring the hospital to the patient, giving them the best possible chance of survival. Once patients reach hospital, the charity’s patient and family liaison nurses are swiftly on hand to provide support during the hardest time of their lives.

However, there are times when the service is not available and this is why support during Air Ambulance Week is needed now, more than ever.

Charles Hackett, Chief Executive Officer, said: “Our vision is to be able to reach every patient that needs pre-hospital critical care, something that would not otherwise be available to them.

“At the moment, there are times when we are not able to reach those patients – there may be weather limitations, the aircraft may need essential maintenance, or a patient might need critical care during the five hours a day we currently do not currently operate. “Therefore, we have been spending time looking at what developments, what equipment and what facilities we need to reach these patients as well.

“Over the years, we have been very careful to spend funds only in the best interest of our patients, however, running an aircraft is not cheap. With inflation and the need for us to reach an increased number of patients, costs are obviously going up.

“However, patients who need critical care, patients who one day could be any one of us or someone we love, deserve to have this care available to them when they need it. That remains our focus, so please, if you able, donate £10 today and allow us to help them too.”

Supporters can donate £10 and show Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance their support, via the website at, by texting DSAA10 to 70085 (texts will cost £10 plus one standard network rate message) or by telephoning 01823 669604.

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