Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance celebrates 30 years of saving lives

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May 2024 marks a very special milestone for the Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance (LNAA) as it celebrates its 30th anniversary.Since airlifting their very first patient on 13th May 1994, LNAA has provided a life-saving Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) for the local communities of Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire. To date, the life-saving charity has responded to over 29,000 missions.

And to coincide with this milestone, in response to increased patient need, the charity is expanding the hours its Notts Critical Care Car operates, in order to provide pre-hospital emergency care to patients seven-days-a-week in the Nottinghamshire area.

LNAA CEO, Karen Jobling, said: “This remarkable charity has come a very long way since its humble beginnings in 1994, when we operated out of a temporary building and could only get to patients if there was money in the bank to fuel up the old ex-police bölkow helicopter.”

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Thirty years later LNAA now responds, on average, to four missions a day. Its state-of-the-art helicopter and two Critical Care Cars enable crews to give the very best treatments, day and night, to some of the most seriously ill and injured patients when they need it most, ensuring the patient has the best possible outcome.”

Lincs & Notts Air AmbulanceLincs & Notts Air Ambulance
Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance

The charity’s Notts Critical Care Car was brought into service in 2020 and initially covered shifts between Thursday and Sunday which, at the time, were the busiest days.

It has since been tasked to over 1,377 missions, many in Nottinghamshire’s built-up areas where it would be difficult for the helicopter to land. As missions increase across every day of the week, the demand for the Critical Care Car is higher than ever.

Allan Gardner, from Nottingham, knows only too well how vital the car is to residents in the city.

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In February 2024, Allan (71) climbed the roof of his conservatory at his allotment in the city, to replace damaged panels. Suddenly he slipped and fell through the deteriorated Perspex, landing on his back.

LNAA CrewLNAA Crew
LNAA Crew

Allan said: “The pain was excruciating in my back and chest. I could hardly breathe and every time I tried to move; the pain would shoot through my body.”

His injuries were so serious that the Notts Critical Care Car was called. Within 16 minutes LNAA’s doctor and paramedic were by Allan’s side, providing life-saving care.

Allan sustained 10 broken ribs and a collapsed lung, and spent three weeks in Nottingham’s Queen’s Medical Centre.

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He believes if the crew had not arrived so quickly, the outcome may have been different. He said: “They saved my life. Their response is quick, the doctors and paramedics can get to you quickly and sort you out before you get to hospital.”

The Notts Critical Care Car now operates around Nottingham and the surrounding areas from 7am-7pm, Monday to Thursday and from 7pm-7am, Friday to Sunday. The doctor and paramedic team on board carry the same life-saving equipment that’s also carried on the helicopter.

The 30th anniversary of this wonderful charity’s service to the community is a time for celebration as well as a reflection on how far it has travelled. Karen said: “We receive no direct Government funding, and have only come this far, thanks to the incredible support from people, businesses and communities in Lincolnshire & Nottinghamshire.”

“As we celebrate this huge milestone for the charity and look back on how we have been able to make a positive impact on the lives of so many people, we are reminded that we must ensure that LNAA continues to be by the side of patients for the next 30 years. We’d like to thank all our supporters for their past and future support.”

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Throughout this 30th Anniversary year, LNAA will be running a series of fundraising events and activities. To find out how you can get involved and help ensure this 30th year is one to remember, visit www.ambucopter.org.uk