1. Computer donations help our fundraising efforts

    October 11, 2013 by Tracy

    DSAA laptop presentation 2013 (2)Donate IT has given the fundraising efforts of Dorset & Somerset Air Ambulance’s volunteers a major boost following their donation of refurbished computer equipment.

    The computer recycling scheme presented the Charity with four laptops and two projectors at their airbase last week.  The equipment will be used by a team of volunteers to give presentations about the Air Ambulance to encourage organisations and individuals to help with their fundraising.

    The Donate IT scheme enables people to fundraise for their favourite charities and good causes by donating their unwanted personal computers and laptops via a growing network of authorised drop-off points across the West Country. The scheme donates £10 for laptops and £5 for computers donated by members of the public.

    Dorset & Somerset Air Ambulance is one of the charities people can raise money for through the initiative.

    Debbie Birtwisle, Dorset & Somerset Air Ambulance’s Fundraising Coordinator, said,  "Until now, some of our fundraising volunteers have been sharing a laptop, and so this computer equipment from Donate IT will be invaluable.  It will now enable us to reach more people within the community, informing them of the service we provide as well as showing them ways in which they can get involved.

    "We’re also really delighted to be included on the list of charities benefiting from donations through the Donate IT scheme. We want to encourage our supporters to dig out any old computers from the back of their cupboards and recycle them with Donate IT so that we can generate financial donations.”

    To find out more, visit: www.donateit.co.uk

    Pictured: (left to right): Paul Owen, DSAA Clinical Support Officer, Gareth and Linda Bridges, DSAA volunteers; Debbie Birtwisle, DSAA fundraising co-ordinator; Helen Jefferis, DSAA volunteer; Paige Hibbert, Donate IT marketing assistant; Michelle Walker, DSAA paramedic; Julie Hope, DSAA volunteer; Dave Webber, Pilot; and Jason Rees, Donate IT manager.

  2. Please Vote for Us!

    by Tracy

    Please vote for usLloyds Banking Group have launched an initiative which will provide grants more than 1,300 local good causes in villages, towns and cities across England, Wales and the Isle of Man.

    We would like your help!  To become one of the shortlisted charities we need your vote.  There are four good causes in each community area.  The two groups with the most votes will each receive £3,000 and the other two, £300 each.

    Voting closes on 1 November 2013 so you will have to be quick.

    Please vote on-line for the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance by following these simple steps:

     Go to www.lloydsbankinggroupcommunities.com/communityfund or click on the image above.

    • Select the option to search for a good cause in England
    • Enter ‘Dorset & Somerset’ and it will bring up the Dorset & Somerset Air Ambulance
    • Click on ‘vote’
    • Enter Your name and email address and then submit vote
    • You will be sent an email which you need to confirm your vote by using the link on the email

    A big thank you to everyone who nominates us! 

  3. Airlift News

    October 4, 2013 by Tracy

    AirliftWe take patient confidentiality very seriously and with this in mind will only issue information which has been approved by the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust. (SWASFT). As a result, the incidents below only show those incidents we have attended that satisfy these rules.

    Week Commencing 23.9.13

    Adult Female - Leg Injury - West Lulworth - Conveyed to DCH, Dorchester

    Patient - Road Traffic Incident - Lydlinch - Conveyed to DCH, Dorchester

    Teenage Boy - Sporting Incident - Iwerne Minster - Conveyed to DCH, Dorchester

    Adult Male - Emergency Lung Operation needed - Conveyed from DCH to Heartlands Hospital, Birmingham

    Adult Male - Breathing issues - Lydmarsh, Chard - Conveyed to Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton



  4. Better Equipped!

    by Tracy

    Lucas 2On board is all the latest medical and resuscitation equipment needed for us to manage a patient’s condition at the scene and during flight.  This is similar to that of a land ambulance with the addition of new and innovative items purchased or trialled by the Charity.   

    With your support and kind donations we have been able to purchase specialist pieces of equipment which will aid the training and development of our paramedics and provide direct benefit to our patients (see below).   It is vital that we maintain our focus on continuing to deliver the highest quality of patient care for the people in Dorset and Somerset and believe the value of these items make them a valuable investment in the future of our service.

    Lucas 2 Chest Compression System (Approx. £7,500)

    In order to be able to save the lives of sudden cardiac arrest patients and avoid neurological damage, a steady supply of oxygen to the heart and brain is necessitated.  Performing manual chest compressions of high quality inside a helicopter can prove difficult and tiring.  Lucas™ 2 is a safe and efficient tool that Video Laryngoscopestandardises chest compressions in accordance with the latest scientific guidelines.  Now electrically powered, the life-saving medical device offers the most compact lightweight and portable solution to maintaining circulation in cardiac arrest patients and our paramedics use it on a regular basis.

    Video Laryngoscope (£4,250)

    Intubation is the placement of a flexible tube into the trachea (windpipe) which maintains an open airway.  It is frequently performed on critically ill patients to facilitate ventilation of the lungs and to prevent the possibility of asphyxiation or airway obstruction.  Blocked or damaged airways are amongst the most common problems that affect trauma patients.  The Video Laryngoscope is a hand-held endoscopic instrument which gives our paramedics a view of the glottis (larynx), providing images of any blockages or damages endured.

    Three Simulation Manikins (£40,000)

    ‘SimMan Essential’ with patient monitor, ‘Crash Kelly’ and ‘Newborn Anne’ are a far cry from the rubber first aid training dummies of yesterday. 

    ‘SimMan Essential’ is a wireless patient simulator and offers comprehensive clinical functionality to teach the core skills of airway, breathing, cardiac and circulation management. The added realism helps the air ambulance crew to practice life- saving drills and skills, both in the classroom and in the tricky SimMan and Monitorenvironments that they may encounter.  It also features a variety of eye movements and pupil dilation levels, simulated spontaneous breathing and abnormal breathing sounds, vascular access, manual drug recognition and a number of cardiac features.  The wireless touch screen simulated patient monitor provides multiple simulated parameters, each presenting multi-level alarms, snapshots of ECG’s, patient X-rays, CAT scans, MRI’s and other diagnostic tools.

    ‘Crash Kelly’ is a durable, rugged training manikin with an intubation head for advanced airway management training and realistic articulation allowing the manikin to be placed in various settings for extrication or rescue. 

    ‘Newborn Anne’ is a manikin designed for skills training in neonatal resuscitation.  Its features are designed to focus on the critical and the resuscitation skills required in the first ten minutes of a newborn baby’s life. 

    We are conscious of the trust that the people of Dorset and Somerset place in us and with your continued support, we are confident that we will continue to deliver an Air Ambulance service you can be proud of!




  5. Ring-finder Richard

    by Tracy

    Richard Higham and David AthertonAn initiative to find lost possessions is making a difference to many people’s lives.  The service is provided by Richard Higham in return for a donation to the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance.  Richard explains how this came about and why he decided to support us…

     “I enjoy my hobby of metal detecting as I love retrieving things people would usually write off as lost.  Retrieving items is extremely rewarding as you can’t put a price on a smile!  I like the feeling of removing earth carefully, bit by bit, then guessing what might be underneath, just like opening a birthday present.

    “I belong to a group of four metal detectorists who have agreed to donate ALL finds to the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance.  All we need now is for landowners with interesting plots to allow us to investigate their site.  We are all fully insured and certified and already have one landowner who has agreed, so hopefully we can find something that will raise more funds for such a worthy charity.”

    Two happy customers are jumping for joy after Richard helped them – and promptly sent their donations our way!  David Atherton wrote the following letter to Richard after his wedding ring was recovered when he lost it on a fishing trip…

    “I wanted to say thank you for a most uplifting experience today after the recovery of my wedding ring.  I lost the gold ring during an evening shore fishing trip and had three separate one-hour searching sessions in the sand and shingle where I was sure I had lost the item.  I came across your website when looking to hire a metal detector and met you the very next morning.  We met on the quay and 20 minutes later my wedding ring was back on my finger.  

    “Apart from the relief at getting the ring back I was impressed on many levels: Your prompt and friendly response to my initial message and the early appointment to you would find the ring however long it took, and the top quality kit that found it.  It is reassuring that in this day and age there are still people who do things just for the pleasure of helping people with no thought for their own benefit.  As a result, a donation of £50 is on its way to the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance.”

    Richard Higham and Lisa SmithLisa Smith lost her wedding and engagement rings during a family trip to the beach.  Luckily for her, Richard worked his magic yet again…

    “On Monday 8 July I dropped both my wedding and engagement rings on Knoll Beach in Studland. Although I found the wedding ring straight away, the engagement ring seemed to have vanished without trace. As panic set in I thought to send my husband to the National Trust office to ask if anyone had a metal detector and they gave me Richard’s contact details.

    “He said he would be there within a couple of hours and also promised me he WOULD find the ring (which I didn’t quite believe at the time) and for me to enjoy my day.  When he turned up, detector in hand, I thought, “Great, hopefully within 10 minutes he will find it, fingers crossed.”  Literally 10 seconds later, the ring was back on my hand (and was then zipped safely away in my bag, never to return to the beach again).  

    “I really couldn’t thank him enough.  It is probably the only item of any monetary value that I possess and the sentimental loss would have been deeply felt. In this cynical day and age, it is refreshing to come across someone of such generous spirit.   As requested, a donation to the Air Ambulance is on its way in thanks for all the great work that you do.”

    Make sure you log these details in your address book or mobile phone:  RingFinder Richard Higham; Tel: 07899 996686, Email: richigham@yahoo.co.uk or visit: www.theringfinders.com/Richard.Higham

  6. News from our Membership Body

    October 3, 2013 by Tracy

    Association of Air Ambulances

    Association of Air AmbulancesDorset and Somerset Air Ambulance is a member of the Association of Air Ambulances (AAA) and our Chief Executive Officer, Bill Sivewright, is its current Chairman. The Association was established as a membership body for organisations which form part of the air ambulance services in the UK. It represents the majority of air ambulance charities, ambulance services and the supply chain.

    All the members are governed by a Code of Conduct, which regulates standards of medical care, aviation practices and fundraising activity, requiring air ambulances to meet the standards set by UK regulators, the Care Quality Commission, Civil Aviation Authority and Fundraising Standards Board (FRSB).

    Well-known actor Sir David Jason became Patron of the Association of Air Ambulances in 2009 and has since promoted the good work of all air ambulances across the country. Last September he fronted National Air Ambulance Week and encouraged the public to support their LOCAL air ambulance during the week-long campaign.

    The Association has been extremely busy over the past six months, representing us on a number of fronts:

    Air Ambulance Awards of Excellence – Nominations are being sought for the first Air Ambulance Awards of Excellence, which will honour the notable contributions of those involved within the air ambulance community. NOTE:  These nominations have now closed!   • Air ambulance key part of 20 per cent increase in patient survival rates – AAA welcomes the announcement of an independent audit that shows 20 per cent more patients are surviving severe trauma since the introduction of Major Trauma Networks.

    • First All Party Parliamentary Group for Air Ambulances (APPGAA) – The first annual reception for the APPGAA took place at the House of Commons in June. The APPGAA, supported by the AAA, aims to raise the quality of care, effectiveness and efficiency of the air ambulance services for patients, through closer engagement with political leaders and policy makers. 

    • Code of Conduct for air ambulances – The majority of air ambulance charities in the UK have signed up to a new Code of Conduct.

    You can find out a whole lot more by visiting: www.associationofairambulances.co.uk

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