The Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) has reported its busiest summer on record after being deployed to more than 600 incidents between June and September.
The charity’s critical care teams, which include a doctor and a specialist advanced trauma paramedic, are based in Eaglescliffe in the North East, and Penrith in Cumbria, and cover an area of more than 8,000 square miles.
From 21 June to 23 September they were activated to more than 600 incidents in the North East, North Yorkshire, Northumberland, Cumbria, Scotland and the Isle of Man.
This is an increase of more than 50 incidents compared to last year’s summer, and it is expected this number will continue to rise as the charity aims to operate 24/7 in the foreseeable future.
Since January, GNAAS has been operating seven nights a week in the North East and hopes to offer the same level of service in Cumbria, where it currently operates four nights a week, soon.
Outside the UK, GNAAS has also been working alongside Manx Care, based in the Isle of Man, since March 2022 to trial a new service to transfer seriously injured or unwell patients by helicopter from the Isle of Man directly to the UK for emergency medical treatment.
Andy Mawson, director of operations at GNAAS, said: “We are responding to more and more incidents due to the expansion of our service, and we are fully committed to delivering 24/7 care to people in need across the region.
“We strongly believe that everyone should have access to hospital-standard care, no matter what time of day it is, but this is only achievable with the help and support of the public.
“Unfortunately, due to the cost of living crisis, raising funds for our charity has become increasingly challenging. One of the ways people can support us is by taking part in our raffle, which has a top prize of £10,000.
“Raffle tickets only cost £1 and each time someone buys a ticket they are helping to fund our life-saving service, as well as being in with a chance of winning a large sum of money, so it’s a win-win.”
GNAAS’ raffle has a top prize of £10,000, as well as a break in the Lake District worth more than £1,000, or £500 in cash up for grabs.
Tickets can be bought by visiting gna.as/raffle_2023 or calling 01325 487263.