1. 10,000th mission flown today

    May 29, 2014 by Tracy

    Carissa Ealson is put into the Air AmbulanceDorset and Somerset Air Ambulance announced this afternoon that it had carried out its 10,000th mission.

    The Charity’s EC135 helicopter, Pilot Max Hoskins, Paramedic Mark Williams and Consultant Doctor Ian Mews attended the incident which took place in the Shaftesbury area at 13.45 pm today.

    The patient, Carissa Ealson (24) was taking part in a cross country horse riding event with her youngest sister Victoria when she suffered a fall.  She was treated at the scene before being airlifted at 14.25 pm, arriving at Dorset County Hospital in Dorchester at 14.48 pm.

    After arriving at hospital, Carissa underwent further tests and x-rays.  Fortunately the results showed that she had not broken any bones and did not suffer any other serious injuries to her back, neck or hips and was discharged from hospital later in the day.

    Speaking on behalf of her sister, Stacey Ealson called the Charity with an update and said, “We are really grateful to the Air Ambulance for all their help and are so pleased that Carissa is going to be OK.  She has now left hospital with some pain relief medication and hopefully will feel better soon.”

    DSAA attends its 10,000 missionBill Sivewright, Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance Chief Executive Officer said, “Every one of the missions we fly is the result of somebody suffering a potentially life-threatening injury or accident and it is not a number that we celebrate.  It simply demonstrates the need for an Air Ambulance that services the counties of Dorset and Somerset.

    “During the past year and with generous support from the public, we have been able to purchase new items of equipment which has not only improved our normal Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS), but has also enhanced our patient transfer capability and in turn has given patients the best possible chance of survival and recovery.

    “We would like express our thanks to everyone who supports the Charity and hope they feel as proud as we are, to be making such a difference to so many people’s lives.”

    In 2013 alone the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance attended 608 incidents of which 304 took place in Somerset and 238 in Dorset.  The outstanding number took place on the borders of neighbouring counties: Devon, North Somerset and Wiltshire.

    Of the incidents attended two hundred and seventy three (273) patients had injuries of a medical nature, one hundred and thirty three (133), people were involved in road traffic incidents, one hundred and twelve (112) patients were treated with trauma symptoms and eighty five (85) patients needed assistance after suffering an injury during a sporting or leisure activity. Four (4) patients needed treatment at a more specialist hospital which required an air ambulance transfer and one (1) patient was involved in an Industrial incident.

    One of the patients carried was Georgina Sapiano from North Petherton.  Georgina suddenly collapsed while at work.  After getting to hospital, doctors determined that she had suffered a subarachnoid brain haemorrhage and needed an emergency operation by specialists at Bristol Frenchay Hospital.  Time was something that she did not have.  Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance airlifted Georgina from Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton and landed at Bristol Frenchay less than 15 minutes later.  She underwent immediate surgery.

    “I cannot thank the Air Ambulance enough.  I remember waking up and speaking to a hospital brain surgeon.  He told me I had been airlifted to hospital and was now in Bristol.  He explained that I had suffered a brain haemorrhage and that when I arrived I had 20 minutes to live before they performed emergency surgery. Since the incident, I was privileged to be with my daughter when she gave birth to twins.  I have experienced these special moments only because the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance saved my life.”

    Val Hayes Another patient Val Hayes from Dorchester suffered life-threatening injuries after an incident involving a tractor.  Whilst in fields she hit some bumpy ground and fell off the tractor which subsequently drove over her.  She broke all her ribs apart from three, broke her sternum and collarbone, lacerated her liver, fractured her pelvis and broke both her right leg and ankle.  Val remembers nothing until she awoke in Southampton General Hospital a week later.  She spent nearly four weeks in Southampton before being transferred to Dorset County Hospital in Dorchester where she could be nearer to home.  Val is now back riding her horses and walking her dogs.

    “Words cannot describe how grateful I am to the crew of the Air Ambulance and the ICU staff at hospital.  The prompt attention I received really did save my life,” she said.


  2. National Volunteer Week -Thank You!

    May 28, 2014 by Tracy

    DSAA Volunteers Pam and Fran EamerSunday 1st June sees the beginning of National Volunteer's Week 2014 (1-7 June) and we would like to say a big thank you to our wonderful team of volunteers who continue to represent the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance.

    Volunteering enables supporters to become more involved with a charity that is close to their heart.  It gives people the opportunity to make friends, to learn new skills and to represent the charity in a more formal way.

    Our volunteers work incredibly hard on our behalf from attending events and giving talks to servicing collection boxes and selling charity merchandise.  Together they cover 2,636 square miles between them.  That’s a big challenge as you can imagine and we could not manage our fundraising activities without them.

    We are always looking for new volunteers to join us and have lots of opportunities available. You don’t have to commit to a set number of hours; we really are flexible and appreciate any time that you can donate.

    In return, you can expect to have an exceptional support team who will encourage and support you in every way.  We can also guarantee that you will gain new friends, meet some inspirational people and learn new skills along the way.

    So, if you are considering volunteering, why not choose Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance. You can find out more on our website: www.dsairambulance.org.uk or by emailing: info@dsairambulance.org.uk

    Alternatively, make a difference today and call us on: 01823 669604

    We hope to hear from you soon!

    The Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance Team!


  3. Airlift News!

    May 22, 2014 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, we only disclose information on the incidents that satisfy these rules.

    Week Commencing 12.5.14

    Blandford Camp - Toddler Male - Unconscious - On Scene - Patient conveyed by land vehicle

    Evercreech - Female Teenager - Head Injuries - Patient conveyed to RUH Bath

    Bridgwater - Adult Male - Fall from horse - Land crew request - Patient conveyed to Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton

    Fiddington - Adult Male - Fall from tree - Patient conveyed to Bristol Frenchay

    Swanage - Male Toddler - Respiratory Distress - Land crew request - Patient conveyed to Poole General Hospital

    Wincanton - Adult Male - Heart Attack - Patient conveyed to Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton

    Shaftesbury - Adult Male - Chest pains - RRV request - Patient conveyed to Dorset County Hospital, Dorchester

    Gillingham - Adult Male - Suffered a fall - Patient conveyed to Dorset County Hospital, Dorchester

    A38 West Huntspill - Adult Male - Road Traffic Incident - Patient conveyed to Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton

    Bridgwater - Baby Male - Burns - Patient conveyed to Bristol Royal Infirmary

    Lyme Regis - Child Male - Anaphylatic reaction - On Scene First - Patient conveyed by land vehicle


  4. Coast to Coast Sunshine for Air Ambulance Cyclists

    May 20, 2014 by Tracy

    C2C Starting poiintHundreds of cyclists assembled at Watchet Harbour on the Somerset coast to take part in the 4th annual Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance Coast to Coast (C2C) Cycle Challenge on Sunday (May 18th).

    Not designed as a race, the event saw cyclists of all ages and abilities set off on a ‘gruelling but gloriously sunny’ 54 mile ride to West Bay in Dorset.   Some cyclists completed a shorter, 11-mile route which began at Drimpton in Dorset and also ended at West Bay.

    In total, 546 cyclists turned out on the day, many of whom reside within the two counties.  Others came from as far afield as Essex to take part in what has become an annual spectacular.  After being encouraged to pay a visit to one of the four pit stops on-route to refill their water bottles and enjoy the refreshments, the cyclists were set on their way by the Mayor of Watchet, Cllr Loretta Whetlor.

    Ben WinterOf those taking part, many had experienced the work of the Air Ambulance first-hand and were delighted to be able to play their part on the day.

    Ben Winter from Christchurch was airlifted to hospital after he broke his neck and back whilst out mountain biking.  Ben said, “Had the Air Ambulance not been there that day, it is extremely likely that I would now be in a wheelchair or indeed no longer alive.  I always meant to ‘give something back’ and whilst I am embarrassed to say that it has taken me almost 8 years to actually do so, now is that time.  The term ‘better late than never’ springs to mind.”

    Sarah Blakemore from Chard dialled the emergency services in 2010 Sarah Blakemoreafter her 18 month old son Archie suffered burns to his leg whilst visiting Lyme Regis beach.  Archie was airlifted to the specialist burns unit at Bristol’s Frenchay Hospital, a journey that could have taken at least an hour and a half by road where he underwent surgery.  “The team at Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance were so good to us and I had numerous dealings with the Charity afterwards.  It’s great to be able to take part in the event and have the chance to meet everyone in person,” she said.

    Team entries were ever popular.  Groups of people from the emergency services, sporting clubs, businesses and family and friends, all joined together in a unified effort to raise funds.

    Team o TumblersOne team cycling were ‘Team o’ Tumblers’ who represented the horse racing, eventing, hunting and farming community.  Their line-up included the recently retired National Hunt Jockey Joe Tizzard, Georgina Nicholls (wife of horse trainer Paul Nicholls), horse trainer Harry Fry, Emma Barber one of the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Masters who was airlifted last year along with a whole host of others. The group had set themselves a fundraising target of £10,000 however announced at the finish that they had already exceeded that total.

    Other participants took part in memory of a lovely one, or simply wanted to challenge themselves and show their support to a charity close to their hearts.Paul Dadson

    Paul Dadson aged 63 from Taunton set the crowds applauding as he crossed the finishing line at West Bay.  His attire of red and white Lycra and ‘Arsenal clogs’ were definitely one of the talking points of the day.

    Andrew Peters and five year old Arthur from Bridport cycled the 11 mile route from Drimpton on a tandem bike.  Arthur is the cousin of Adam Sherring who cycled the 54 mile route last year on a tricycle!  Arthur said that he loved every minute of it and the best part was coming down the hills.

    Three GenerationsThree generations of the Turner family also took on the challenge!  Mike Turner (68), his son Steve Turner (47) and his grandson Ollie Turner (17) all crossed the finished line with a big smile! 

    Publicity of this year’s event was heightened prior to the event with the help of eight year old Olivia Reid from Maiden Newton (pictured with Amy Fox) who appeared on the BBC Radio 2 - Chris Evans Breakfast Show on Friday 17th May.  Olivia took part in the 11 mile cycle and then helped to hand out medals at the finishing line, before reliving her excitement with Chris Evans on Monday Olivia Reid and Amy Fox(19th May), when she explained how her day had gone.

    Bill Sivewright, Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance Chief Executive Officer said, “We are delighted that this year’s event was once again well supported.  We were bowled over by the fact that within three weeks of registration opening, it was sold out!

    “Right from the start, back in 2011, we emphasized that was not a race but a challenge.  This year, the challenge proved a little tougher with the addition of a head wind and warm weather.  The atmosphere amongst the cyclists and those who supported them at the start, en-route and at the finishing point was simply incredible.   

    “Each year we listen to the event feedback and try to build on the success of the previous year.   We have already received many kind comments but perhaps the most satisfying are those that pointed to the friendly and helpful people helping to run things. Peter Green, Volunteer

    “With only a small staff, Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance relies on volunteers to make events like this a success and I thank them once again for stepping up to the plate. 

    “Additionally I would like to thank the members of the public, Somerset Motorcycle Group and local businesses who helped with marshalling and to the event sponsors: Bond Air Services, Framptons Transport Services Ltd, Glastonbury Spring Water, Max Davidson Optometry, Mud Sweat and Gears, Porter Dodson, Somerset Web Services and The Bicycle Chain.  

    “Finally, I would like to say how much we are looking forward to doing it all again next year!”

    During 2013 the Coast to Coast Cycle Challenge raised over £60,000 for Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance.  This year’s event has already generated £40,000 with additional sponsorship money still to come in. 

    The Charity is awarding prizes to those who raise the most C2C sponsorship in the following categories: Adult, Under 16 and Team.  These will be presented during National Air Ambulance Week celebrations which take place in September.

    As well as sponsorship of the cyclists, there are two other ways in which donations can be made in support of the event.  These can be made online or by mobile phone by texting: COAS04 £10 to 70070

    Photographs taken by the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance and Laura Zaky can be viewed and downloaded for FREE by clicking HERE!

     


  5. Coast to Coast Cycle Challenge Success!

    May 19, 2014 by Tracy
    C2C Starting point - Photo taken by Laura Zaky

    C2C Starting point - Photo taken by Laura Zaky

    What an incredible day yesterday!  A big thank to everyone who took part in our 4th annual Coast to Coast Cycle Challenge.  The support from friends, family and the general public was amazing and the weather was simply beautiful!  We will provide more information about the event during this week and include links to any photographs taken on the day.  Congratulations to everyone who completed the challenge and for supporting Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance in this way!


  6. With Sadness

    May 16, 2014 by Tracy

    It is with great sadness that we wish to announce that Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance volunteers, Sue Cleal (Yeovil), Mike Burchett (Sherborne) and Dianne State (Taunton) have recently passed away.  Our sincere thoughts and best wishes go to Wally, Judith and Barry, their friends and family and all those who knew them.

    .


  7. Court House Open Gardens – 12 June

    by Tracy

    Court House GardensDorset and Somerset Air Ambulance is delighted to announce that with kind permission of the Luttrell family, an Open Gardens event will be held at the Court House, East Quantoxhead on the 12th June 2014 between 1pm and 4pm.

    Court House Gardens is situated on the Somerset coast and boasts a wonderful 5 acre garden with a broad spectrum of trees and shrubs, many of them rare and tender.  With a rose walk, traditional kitchen garden, herbaceous borders and 3 acre woodland garden, there’s certainly something to enjoy for everyone. It’s truly a gem, and is rarely open to the general public.

    We hope that members of the public will take this rare opportunity and join us on the day.  Refreshments will be available and include a scrumptious traditional cream tea which can be taken on the Bowling Green.  Additionally there will be a cake and plant sale and a raffle offering some great prizes. 

    With breath taking views out to sea and across the Quantocks, there really couldn’t be a better place to be!  Entrance fees are: £4 per adult with Under 16’s free!

    Location and Directions:

    Court House Gardens, East Quantoxhead, Bridgwater, TA5 1EJ - Court House Gardens is 12 miles west of Bridgwater, off the A39, at the end of the village past the duck pond. Please enter by Frog Lane (Bridgwater / Kilve side from A39) Parking is available on site.


  8. Durdle Door incident captured on video

    May 13, 2014 by Tracy

    Last month, Toby Allen suffered a fall whilst visiting Durdle Door.  Although Toby's injuries were not life-threatening, he suffered a badly broken ankle.  It would have been extremely difficult to get Toby to a place where he could be transported by land vehicle to hospital. 

    Video footage was captured by a member of the public and shows our crew doing what they do best!  We are delighted to say that Toby is now doing well.

     

     

     

     


  9. First patient flown to new BRI helideck

    by Tracy

    Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance landed (this picture was taken by the National Police Air Service, Filton who were flying overhead)The new £3 million helideck at Bristol Royal Infirmary (BRI) was used for the first time on Friday 9 May by Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance just two days after its official opening.

    Air ambulances across the region have spent the last few weeks undergoing orientation test flights for the new helideck which is located 220 feet above ground on the roof of BRI and last Friday saw the first patient experience its benefit.

    Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance coming in to land on the helideckThe patient, an adult male who had undergone previous cardiac treatment at BRI was airlifted from Pylle near Shepton Mallet at 2 pm.  He arrived on the 25m square helideck just ten minutes later.

    A grant of £500,000 from the HELP Appeal supported the helideck’s construction as part of a major redevelopment at the BRI.  It connects directly to services within the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children as well as the adult Emergency Department at Bristol Royal Infirmary. The Bristol Heart Institute will also receive patients transferred by helicopter for cardiac treatment.Captain Oliver Tangye, Consultant Tony Doyle & Paramedic Michelle Walker

    Bill Sivewright, Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance Chief Executive Officer said, “The importance of helipads at Major Trauma Centres is paramount in ensuring that patients get to the right place for the best treatment first time!  The fact that the helideck at BRI was used so quickly after its launch and potentially has already made a difference to someone’s life means it’s an invaluable asset. 

    “The development of helipads and suitable landing facilities is a key issue for the Association of Air Ambulances that we support strongly.”

    Pictured is: Captain Oliver Tangye, Consultant Tony Doyle & Paramedic Michelle Walker on the helideck at BRI.


  10. Massive support for Air Ambulance Cycle Challenge

    May 9, 2014 by Tracy

    Starting Point at Watchet HarbourOur 4th annual Coast to Coast (C2C) Cycle Challenge takes place on Sunday 18th May 2014  and we are hoping that you'll come out and support those who are taking part!

    The event, which is not designed as a race, involves a brilliant 54 mile cycle which starts at 11.00am from Watchet Harbour in Somerset and ends at West Bay near Bridport.  A shorter 11 mile route starts at the Royal Oak in Drimpton at 2.00pm and also finishes at West Bay.

    Last year’s event saw cyclists of all ages and abilities take part, raising over £60,000 for the Charity.  With only 600 places available, it was not surprising that within three weeks of registration being open, this year’s event was sold out. 

    Cyclists supports with flagSupporters will be able to encourage the cyclists on-route or at one of the four allocated pit-stops located at Bishops Lydeard Football Club, Creech St Michael, Ilminster Ambulance Station and the Royal Oak public house in Drimpton.  Finishing line celebrations will take place at East Beach Car Park in West Bay where cyclists are expected to start arriving from around 2.30pm.

    Bill Sivewright, Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance Chief Executive Officer said, “We are delighted that the only event we organise ourselves is so well supported and it seems to get better year on year.  The atmosphere amongst the cyclists and those who support them at the start, en-route and at the finishing point is incredible.

    “Of those taking part this year, there are many patients who have experienced the work of the Air Ambulance first-hand.  Others are cycling in memory of a loved one or simply want to challenge themselves and support our cause.  One particular family has three generations cycling which is exactly what this event is all about.Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance in action

    “We are thrilled with the number of teams who have entered this year and that many of the cyclists are getting their friends and family to sponsor them in a bid to raise as much as possible. I am sure it will be an extremely emotional day all round and we are really looking forward to it.

    “We would like to thank our wonderful team of volunteers, members of the public and local businesses who are helping with marshalling and the event sponsors: Bond Air Services, Framptons Transport Services Ltd, Glastonbury Spring Water, Max Davidson Optometry, Porter Dodson, Somerset Web Services and The Bicycle Chain.  Without their help, we simply could not put on such a large scale event.”

    Team o' Tumblers

    Photograph taken and copyrighted by John Beasley

    One team taking part is the ‘Team o’ Tumblers’ who represent the horse racing, eventing, hunting and farming community. Their line-up includes the recently retired National Hunt Jockey Joe Tizzard, Georgina Nicholls (wife of horse trainer Paul Nicholls), horse trainer Harry Fry, Emma Barber one of the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Masters who was airlifted last year and a whole host of others who have committed to supporting the Charity after needing their services on a number of occasions.

    As well as sponsorship of the cyclists, the Charity has set up two other ways in which donations can be made in support of the event.  These can be made online via the Charity’s website: www.dsairambulance.org.uk or by mobile phone by texting: COAS04 £10 to 70070

    A link to the Coast to Coast Cycle Challenge route map can be found HERE.


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