Last month Wales Air Ambulance was called to Newtown, after a motocross biker was involved in a serious accident, leaving him needing urgent medical attention.
Why are we needed?
The charity’s four helicopters are confronted with a diverse and challenging landscape. Over 8,000 sq miles of remote countryside, bustling towns and cities, vast mountain ranges, and 800 miles of coastline.
With a widely scattered population and diverse landscape, many in Wales live in isolated locations, far from a major or specialist hospital. In urban areas, traffic congestion and collisions can significantly delay treatment when on a road ambulance. For these reasons, there is a recognised need for our four helicopters on active duty 365 days a year.
How do we make a difference?
A patient’s chances of survival and early recovery are increased if they receive the right care within the first hour, otherwise known as the Golden Hour. The fast response times and the expert medical care provided by the Wales Air Ambulance crews gets patients to the care they need in the quickest possible time.
Where are the helicopters based?
We have four airbases, making us the largest air ambulance operation in the UK. Our three emergency HEMS aircraft are based in the North (Caernarfon), Mid (Welshpool) and South (Llanelli) of Wales. A fourth aircraft based in Cardiff is dedicated to our children’s air ambulance operation.
How long does it take to respond to an emergency?
Each helicopter can be launched within 3 minutes of receiving an emergency call. From the three HEMS airbases, a helicopter can be anywhere in Wales within just 20 minutes.
Who calls the ambulance out?
In Wales we have three ambulance controls, which are located in Llanfairfechan, Cwmbran and Carmarthen. When somebody calls 999 for an ambulance, the call goes straight to the ambulance control. The person on the end of the phone will ask the caller a number of questions relating to the medical emergency. Ambulance control will then deploy one of the helicopters.
How much does it cost to run the service?
The charity needs to raise £6.5 million every year to operate the service. The charity raises all the funds required for the day-to-day running of missions, with each mission on average costing £1500.
How do we raise the money?
Wales Air Ambulance is funded by the people of Wales; we rely entirely on the public’s support to help keep the helicopters flying. The charity does not receive direct funding from the government and we also fail to qualify for National Lottery funding. The money is therefore raised through charitable donations, fundraising events and membership of our in-house Lifesaving Lottery.Find out how you can help