GNAAS says thanks after expansion of 24-hour service saves more lives in the North East

We are happy to announce that the expansion of our all-night road service has responded to 239 call-outs over its first year.

We released figures to mark National Air Ambulance Week and show the impact of our expanded overnight rapid response vehicle service in the North-East.

In contrast to the helicopter air ambulance, our road service was more likely to respond to victims of violent crime and elderly people falling at home. Our crews responded to 59 reports of assault, 33 falls and 36 road traffic incidents on the new nights.

The North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) originally commissioned the service to work on Friday and Saturday nights, 8pm to 8am. That arrangement remains in place, but we saw a need to expand it, and with the support of donations from the public, extended it to the two additional nights.

It is hoped the service will run over seven days in the future, if additional funding can be generated.

Lee Salmon cropped
GNAAS paramedic Lee Salmon

Speaking ahead of National Air Ambulance Week, which runs from September 9, GNAAS paramedic, Lee Salmon, said: “This development has allowed us to reach even more people and be there for them in their hour of need. This is all in addition to the 1,400 other responses on our established shifts.”

The rapid response vehicle is staffed with a doctor and paramedic critical care team, meaning advanced procedures can be carried out on the roadside, including surgery and blood transfusion.

“We are seeing a lot of cases where elderly people have fallen and badly injured themselves,” added Mr Salmon.

“Instead of waiting for these advance treatments at hospital, we can help them much sooner. We work really closely with the ambulance crews, but sometimes we find they may be restricted in what they’re able to do to help a patient.”

During National Air Ambulance week, staff here at GNAAS have been given time away from their regular roles as we aim to contact thousands of supporters who have contributed over the past 12 months by phone call, postcard and email.

Grahame Pickering MBE, chief executive of GNAAS, said: “Everything we do is only possible because of our supporters, but last year because of expansion of our service, we were able to respond to 239 call-outs that we would not previously have been able to.

“Among these incidents were the most seriously ill and injured people, and we know that lives will have been saved as a result of our involvement.

“Instead of asking for more, we just wanted to take a little time this week to thank some of those people who made this possible.

“Our fundraising battle continues as ever, but we know that with this kind of support behind us, we can continue to improve our service, both in terms of the numbers of people we help, and the quality of care we offer.”

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