DORSET and Somerset Air Ambulance (DSAA) has launched its first-ever Christmas appeal, in a bid to raise vital funds to continue its life-saving work.
It calls for donations throughout December, with its workload skyrocketing in recent times.
In 2017, the charity responded to 1,112 incidents – five years later this number more than doubled to a record 2,424.
Laura Bland, critical care doctor at Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance, said: “Each life-saving mission that our crew are tasked with costs approximately £3,500.
“With no direct funding from the Government or the National Lottery, we rely on the generosity of the public to fund every mission we undertake.”
Each year, the DSAA’s helicopter, cars and specialist crew costs £10m.
But behind each number is a real person experiencing one of the most traumatic events of their life.
The charity provides pre-hospital critical care 365 days of the year; their skilled teams and specialist equipment often the difference between life and death.
“Emergencies don’t stop at Christmas and neither do we,” Laura added. “The continued generosity of people across Dorset and Somerset means that we have the very best equipment and training to ensure we are there for patients when they need us most.
“To be able to help critically ill and injured patients across the local community by bringing the hospital to them in remote locations, in their homes, or by the roadside is an incredible privilege, and that is only achievable with the help of our amazing supporters.
“Whilst many will be spending time with their families and loved ones over the festive period, sadly, there will be some whose lives will be turned upside down due to severe illness or injury.
“With your continued support, our team of highly skilled pilots, critical care practitioners and doctors will be ready to answer the call and be there for those who need us the most.”
To make a donation, visit the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance website or call 01823 669604.