1. National Air Ambulance Week get’s off to flying start!

    September 24, 2014 by Tracy

    Support from our petsSupporters all over the country are getting behind National Air Ambulance Week 2014.  The national video challenge has seen people upload their videos to a variety of social media channels using the hashtag #NAAW2014 stating the words, 'I support my local air ambulance, do you?'  Some people have involved their families, friends and even their pets!  Click our puppy picture or HERE to view some examples!

    Dorset and Somerset Air AmbulanceMedia coverage for National Air Ambulance Week has been at its highest ever with radio, print and TV all getting on board.  Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance flew in to Airways Aviation at Bournemouth Airport yesterday where members of the public and children from Portfield School had the chance to meet with the crew.  Click HERE to view.

    Earlier today, the yellow EC135 helicopter had to delay its landing to Vivary Park in Taunton when operational commitments took priority.  The team managed to land at approximately 11.45am and were greeted by many smiles and much enthusiasm.

    Many BBC Radio Stations have helped publicise the events and have interviewed staff, volunteers, supporters and patients who have needed the services of the air  ambulance first hand.  BBC Radio presenter Emma Britton interviewed our Chief Executive Officer, Bill Sivewright on her early morning show and Ben Mcgrail featured the charity's work on his programme throughout the morning.  Listen to patient Georgina Sapiano describe how Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance saved her life HERE or click her photo on the right.  You can also listen to Ben's programme in full via BBC iPlayer.




  2. Support National Air Ambulance Week by shooting a video!

    September 19, 2014 by Tracy

    DSAA Paramedic Claire BakerAir Ambulance charities across the country are once again coming together to celebrate National Air Ambulance Week (NAAW) which takes place between 22-28th September 2014. NAAW is an initiative created by the Association of Air Ambulances (AAA) and celebrates the work of your local Air Ambulance, giving them a national voice and an opportunity to promote the work they do at a local level. Together, the UK’s Air Ambulance charities generate £96.7 million a year, operate 36 helicopters, have a volunteer network of over 2,500 people and are one of the most exciting and innovative group of organisations in the UK.    With many investing funds to expand their operations to provide night HEMS missions, upgrading their aircraft or placing investment into the advanced education and training of their Paramedics and Doctors, there is no better time to show them your support!

    In 2013, the NAAW campaign was boosted by the creation of a celebrity video montage which featured 17 celebrities and sports personalities quoting the words, “I support my local air ambulance, do you?”

    This year, Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance is urging the public to get involved by recording a short video saying the same words, “I support my local air ambulance, do you?” and then nominating friends and family to do the same.  The video can then be: 


    Tracy Bartram, Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance Communications Manager said, “NAAW has now become a regular feature on people’s event calendars and there are so many different ways that people can get involved. Some of our supporters hold mufti or dress down days at school or within the workplace. Others organise their own events or set themselves a challenge and ask their friends to sponsor them.

    “The creation of a video is probably one of the easiest ways of getting involved this year. We really want people to have fun with the idea and hope that the initiative goes viral as many other air ambulance charities in the UK are also doing the same. We look forward to seeing how the people of Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance respond.”


  3. £1,000 from Quantock Show!

    September 18, 2014 by Tracy

    Quantock showThe opening meet of the Quantock Staghounds was held at the Carew Arms, Crowcombe on Monday 8th September, where a cheque for £1,000 was kindly presented to the charity.

    The money had been raised at the Quantock Show, which had been held on August Bank Holiday Monday at Cothelstone. Despite the pouring rain, a profit was still made, thanks to the contributions from the sponsors, advertisers and competitors .

    The cheque was presented to Charlotte Routley, Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance Charity Manager by show secretary Marilyn Palmer. 

    Pictured from the left are Richard Parkhouse, Marilyn Palmer, Michael Thorne, Charlotte Routley, Brian Palmer with James Hawthorne (mounted).


  4. Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance shortlisted for Awards of Excellence!

    September 16, 2014 by Tracy

    Picture kindly taken by Justin Glynn:  www.glynnphotographic.co.ukDorset and Somerset Air Ambulance is delighted to announce that it is represented in three categories at this year’s Air Ambulance Awards of Excellence. The shortlisted nominees were announced on Friday by the Association of Air Ambulances and the winners will be revealed at an awards ceremony to be held on 17 November at the Millennium Gloucester Hotel, London.

    Doctor Phil Hyde has been shortlisted in the Air Ambulance Doctor of the Year category.  Phil has been working with Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance for the past two years.  He is a Consultant Paediatric Intensivist at the University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust and the director of Paediatric Major Trauma for the Wessex Major Trauma Centre. 

    Doctor Phil HydePhil has worked intensively with the aircrew paramedics enhancing their skills and knowledge.   His expertise and recommendations for new procedures and equipment has been instrumental in the Charity’s continuing clinical development. His most recent project includes the joint working between the Paediatric Retrieval teams, Hospitals, Air Ambulance Charities and Ambulance Services to deliver the best possible patient care in a structured, unambiguous, consistent manner with an aim to deliver the ultimate in patient care.  As Chair of the Curriculum Committee of the Intercollegiate Board for training in pre-hospital emergency medicine, his influence is felt not only at a local and regional level but also nationally. Captain Phil Merritt

    Captain Phil Merrit represents the charity in the Air Ambulance Pilot of the Year category.  Phil’s enthusiasm extends into every facet of his role and his contribution to the Charity extends far beyond simply flying the aircraft. The high standard of his briefing, awareness of the requirements needed for critical care patients and his constant readiness to assist in all manner of situations makes him an integral part of the team. In the autumn of 2011, Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance accepted the Airbox ™Moving Map system into operational service. Phil played an instrumental part in not only testing and developing the product but also gave a clear description of the issues that needed to be addressed.  He provided clear and consistent critique during subsequent development iterations and input and recommendations on the way the product could be further improved to benefit other air ambulances.

    As a Line Training Captain, Phil provides training for other pilots enabling them to gain their initial HEMS pilot training. In this role he has also been instrumental in the development of the night flying training package for the HEMS air ambulances across the country.  

    Volunteers Pam and Fran EamerDorset and Somerset Air Ambulance volunteers Pam and Fran Eamer have been shortlisted for Air Ambulance Charity Volunteer of the Year.  The married couple, who are 70 years young, became volunteers just over 4 years ago.  Not having volunteered before, they took to their tasks like a fish to water and have become one of the most highly respected ambassadors for the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance in the area.  They are constantly on the go, supporting fundraising initiatives and events, attending cheque presentations and servicing around 100 charity collection boxes across the Dorset area.

    Bill Sivewright, Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance Chief Executive Officer said, “In highlighting individuals in this way, we hope to shine a light on the fantastic work that is done by everyone at Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance. We are all particularly proud of the fact that this has been recognised at a national level”.

    The independent judging panel met on 10 September and considered all entries made across the nine categories. Guy Opperman MP, Chairman of the Judging Panel, commented, “It is a real privilege to read about the enormous expertise and dedication of the people working in the air ambulance sector, and judging these awards has quickly become one of the highlights of my year.

    “This year’s Awards entries were truly outstanding and it was a very difficult task to choose the shortlists. Each and every nominee is clearly an exceptional individual or team, and I would like to thank all of them for their hard work. However, we have narrowed down the field and now look forward to the winners being announced in November, when we will celebrate the dedication and commitment of all those involved in the work carried out by UK air ambulance charities.”

    A full list of categories and all those shortlisted as finalists can be viewed by visiting the Association of Air Ambulances website: http://www.associationofairambulances.co.uk/aaae/

  5. Air Ambulance flies in for National Air Ambulance Week

    September 11, 2014 by Tracy

    Some of the crew, Steve Freeman, Phil Merrit and Leonie GermanDorset and Somerset Air Ambulance will be flying into locations across the two counties as part of an awareness campaign during National Air Ambulance Week.

    National Air Ambulance Week (NAAW) takes between 22 – 28 September and is an initiative put together by the Association of Air Ambulances (AAA) which unites not only air ambulance charities from across the country, but also ambulance services and operators.

    The Dorset and Somerset’s Air Ambulance EC135 yellow helicopter and crew will be landing at the following locations (subject to operational commitments) during the week in an aim to raise awareness of the work they do.


    • Tuesday 23rd September (1.00 pm) -  Airways Aviation, Aviation Way, Hurn, Christchurch BH23 6NW
    • Thursday 25th September (12.00 midday – Students only) - Kingston Maurward College, Dorchester, Dorset, DT2 8PY



    • Wednesday 24th September (11.00 am) - Vivary Park, Taunton TA1 3QE
    • Friday 26th September (11.00 am) - Wells Cathedral Green, Wells, BA5 2UE


    Attending an incidentVisitors will be given the chance to meet the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance team and explore the helicopter.  The pilot and paramedics will be on hand to answer questions from members of the public.

    Tracy Bartram, Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance Communications Manager said, “National Air Ambulance Week is now a firm fixture on many people’s event calendars and is a time where all air ambulance charities across the country unite. 

    “Many people see or experience the air ambulance whilst it’s attending an incident and never have the opportunity to talk with our team or see the helicopter up close.  The scheduled fly-ins are aimed at doing just that and we hope that people will take the time to come and say hello.  There will be an opportunity for photographs or even better, why not get your very own ‘selfie’ to show your friends and family!Carissa Ealson is put into the air ambulance

    “On a serious note, our priority obviously remains to provide an outstanding emergency service, which is why these scheduled fly-ins are subject to any operational commitments we should have on the day.”

    If you would like to show Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance your support during National Air Ambulance Week and are unable to attend the fly-ins, you can donate in a number of ways.  From a mobile phone simply text: DSAA02 £5 to 70070 or online via:  www.dsairambulance.org.uk/donate

    Alternatively you can donate by cheque, please make it payable to ‘Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance’ and post to:  Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance, Landacre House, Castle Road, Chelston Business Park, Wellington, TA21 9JQ

    For information on how to become a volunteer, visit: www.dsairambulance.org.uk call: 01823 669604 or email: info@dsairambulance.org.uk

  6. Scouts in Ice Bucket Mexican Wave!

    by Tracy

    Weston Mercury articleA determined group of Worle scouts and their leaders have taken the Ice Bucket Challenge one step further and created an ice bucket Mexican Wave!  The First North Worle Scout group, which contains members aged 11 to 14 and a half, took a deep breath and poured freezing cold water mixed with ice cubes over themselves, one after the other, to raise cash for the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance. 

    After completing the challenge, they nominated the 1st Kewstoke Scout Group to do the same in hope that the Mexican wave will spread across the country's scouting community, raising money for each local air ambulance charity.

    A total of £105.28 was raised on the night which is fantastic news and the story was featured in this week's Weston Mercury which can be viewed by either clicking the article on the right or HERE

    To view the YouTube video, click HERE!


  7. Airlift News!

    September 1, 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 25.8.14

    Null Station Rd, Cheddar - Adult Female - Road Traffic Incident - Clear on Scene - Patient conveyed by land crew

    Blandford - Adult Male - Cardiac Arrest - Patient conveyed to Royal Bournemouth Hospital

    Witham Friary - Adult Male - Chest Pain - Patient conveyed to Royal United Hospital, Bath

    Nunney, Frome - Adult Male - Incident with circular saw - Patient conveyed to Royal United Hospital, Bath

    Blandford - Adult Male - Cardio Vascular Event - Patient conveyed to Royal Bournemouth Hospital

    Frome - Elderly Female - Cardio Vascular Event? - On Scene - Patient conveyed by land crew

    Hardington - Adult Female - Quad bike incident - Head injuries - Patient conveyed to Royal United Hospital, Bath

    A354 Bincombe - Adult Female - Road Traffic Incident - Patient conveyed to Dorset County Hospital, Dorchester

    Chalton Horethorn - Adult Female - Horse Incident - On scene - Patient conveyed by land crew to Yeovil

    Burnham on Sea - Adult Female - Cardiac Arrest - Patient conveyed to Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton

    Swanage - Adult Male - Fall from bike - head injuries - Patient conveyed to Poole Hospital

    Swanage - Child Male - Fall from scooter - head injuries - Patient conveyed to Southampton General Hospital

    Gillingham - Elderly Male - Chest pains - Patient conveyed to Royal Bournemouth Hospital

    Cheddar Gorge - Child Male - Suffered a fall - Patient conveyed to Royal United Hospital, Bath