Earlier this month Kate visited the Great Western Air Ambulance Charity bespoke air base up in Almondsbury.
Being one of the Weston Lions who are big supporters of the Charity, members were invited to tour the facilities, see the aircraft, critical care cars and meet some of the crew.
The GWAAC is one of the busiest air ambulances in the UK, delivering critical care and pre-hospital emergency medicine to the regions of Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset, North Somerset, Gloucestershire, South Gloucestershire and parts of Wiltshire.
The charity has a crew of Critical Care Doctors, Advanced Practitioner, Specialist Paramedics and pilots that can be anywhere in their region in 20 minutes. They bring life saving medical and surgical skills straight to the patient. The crew can perform interventions at the scene of an incident that would usually only be done in a hospital Emergency Department, bringing the care forward to where it’s needed most. On the tour Kate and the visitors got to speak with one of the critical Doctors who spoke to them about what they do first hand.
On average GWAAC is called to around 5 people a day, some days it can be many more and each mission costs roughly £2,000. Last year in North Somerset, where A Squared is based, saw 211 missions, where 32% were seen to by the Helicopter and 68% by the critical care cars.
The critical care cars carry the same life saving medical interventions as the helicopter and as the helicopter is currently only flown during daylight hours, the cars enable the charity to continue responding at night time, or when the helicopter is in for maintenance.
Kate got to look inside the vehicles and the helicopter at all the equipment inside. Each carry essential life saving equipment including ventilators, oxygen, controlled drugs and other specialist equipment.
The tour also consisted of a visit to the training room where the group were showed all the equipment that the crew are trained with and dummies relating to all different ages. The variety of dummies allows the crew to gain experience on different body types related to age, like a child or a pensioner, and how that could change the care they give to the patient.
The group got to hear from a mother whose daughter’s life was saved by the Great Western Air Ambulance giving them a real-life understanding how this charity impacts people and how important their services are.
Kate says that the visit was really quite over whelming seeing and hearing first hand how the Charity and its crew save lives.
‘Having this kind of service is so important. The Great Western Air Ambulance have the capacity to bring a ‘hospital’ to the injured or ill, allowing them to stabilise the patient or conduct life saving measures. It’s incredible’.
A Squared has now donated £1000 to the Great Western Air Ambulance Charity.
“It is exactly because of the generosity of local organisations like A Squared that Great Western Air Ambulance Charity (GWAAC) can keep flying and be there for someone in our shared community in their hour of need. We are so grateful for their support and this fantastic donation following a visit to our airbase last week to see behind the scenes of our busy Critical Care Team. GWAAC’s crew attend an average of 5 patients every day, getting the skills and equipment usually seen in an A&E department to the most serious of incidents and accidents in North Somerset and beyond. Thank you, Kate and team!” – GWAAC Spokesperson