Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance (HIOWAA) have released mission statistics for the first half of 2019, they reveal a 62 per cent year-on-year increase in the number of incidents attended across the Hampshire and Isle of Wight region.
For the first half of 2019, HIOWAA were tasked to 1,075 incidents, compared to 662 missions for the same period in the previous year.
The reasons behind this dramatic increase are varied.
HIOWAA started the year with seven new trainee helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS) paramedics, resulting in the Charity being able to staff an increased number of vehicle and dispatch desk shifts. In addition, the Charity also points to recent operational changes made to the way the Air Ambulance and Critical Care Team Vehicles (CCTV) are dispatched.
In November 2018, the CCTV was re-positioned to operate within the M27 corridor. New data collected by HIOWAA revealed this area to be representative of a large proportion of the incidents attended. The increase that HIOWAA has seen in the deployments of the three CCTVs now operated by the Charity could be partly attributed to this shift in location, but further analysis is required to confirm this.
The Charity’s aircraft has also seen a significant increase of 31 per cent in incident responses for the same period.
Director of Operations for HIOWAA, Nick Thuilliez, stated: “The arrival of our new trainee HEMS paramedics has allowed us to increase staffing levels for our CCTVs and dispatch desk so that, ultimately, we can respond to more patients in their hour of need. In addition, thanks to improved data, we have repositioned our vehicles closer to where they are most likely to be needed. As a life-saving charity, our patients are at the heart of every strategic decision we make.”
HIOWAA celebrated its 12th birthday on 1st July, and has now responded to a total of 8,862 call-outs since beginning operations in July 2007. July 2019 was the Charity’s busiest month to date, with the crew responding to 244 incidents across the region.