Wiltshire's Air Ambulance deals with record number of incidents in 2019

Wiltshire's Air Ambulance deals with record number of incidents in 2019

Published by Faye Tryhorn at 5:42am 8th January 2020.

3 minute read

The charity's revealed how many times they were called out throughout last year - and where those emergencies were.

Wiltshire Air Ambulance (WAA) carried out 1,233 missions during the year, which is an increase of 12% on the year before. 

It's also the most they've been called out to since the charity became a stand-alone organisation in 2015.

Wiltshire Air Ambulance Helicopter
The life-saving service has has a busy year, despite a difficult time with their helicopter


WAA can fly anywhere in the county of Wiltshire in their helicopter from their base at Semington within 11 minutes.

They also have Rapid Response Vehicles, which can get paramedics to emergency scenes by road too.

The missions included: 

  • 29 in Amesbury
  • 4 in Mere
  • 16 in Pewsey 
  • 57 in Salisbury
  • 19 in Tidworth
  • 3 in Tisbury
Wiltshire Air Ambulance Crew Helicopter and Rapid Response Vehicle
The WAA crew have been called out to more incidents in 2019 than any other since they've been a standalone charity

Of the 1,233 missions carried out by the service in 2019 - around 75% of the incidents (920) were attended by car.

The rest were attended by helicopter.

Wiltshire Air Ambulance was using a hired aircraft for most of last year, after their iconic green and yellow helicopter failed safety checks and needed clearance to fly again.

Wiltshire Air Ambulance Back-up Helicopter January 2019
The familiar green and yellow helicopter had to be grounded for 11 months last year, so this back-up chopper was brought in to keep the service running


Nearly a third of the incidents that Wiltshire Air Ambulance were called to (384 cases) were cardiac arrests.

They were also deployed to: 

  • 239 road traffic collisions
  • 112 falls
  • 104 medical collapses
  • 78 assaults
  • 66 sporting injuries
  • 27 of those were horse riding accidents

11% of cases the service dealt with involved children.

Wiltshire Air Ambulance
The Wiltshire Air Ambulance helicopter is now back up and flying once again

David Philpott, chief executive of Wiltshire Air Ambulance, said: 

"Despite the well documented issues with our Bell 429 helicopter during 2019, our aircrew were busier than they have ever been.

"When our helicopter is unable to fly our critical care paramedics and doctors use Rapid Response Vehicles. The vehicles have the same medical equipment that is onboard the helicopter so we are still able to provide gold standard medical care to patients.

"We rely on donations to provide our essential service so we'd like to thank our supporters for their generosity and our volunteers for their dedication in attending fundraising events and raising awareness of our charity."

2019 also marks the 30th anniversary of Wiltshire Air Ambulance. 

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