Devon Air Ambulance tops 1,500 rescue missions in 2020

Picture of air ambulance landing on Torquay seafront

The air ambulance lands on Torquay seafront during a recent 999 call - Credit: Archant

The Devon Air Ambulance was tasked to attend over 1,500 incidents across the county in 2020. 

Of those missions, 590 were to help patients with medical emergencies (those suffering with a medical condition) and 912 trauma-related incidents (accidents and injuries caused by slips, trips, falls, burns and collisions to name just a few).  

Crews assisted 607 male and 261 female patients, plus 68 children who also needed their expert care. 
July was DAA’s busiest month of the year and Sunday their busiest day of the week. This is thought to be due to many people taking time out for their favourite hobbies and pastimes at the weekend, as well as those carrying out home improvement plans that don’t always go as smoothly as intended. Two of the most common sporting groups they were tasked to were equestrian related (38) and cyclists (29). 
Nigel Hare, Patient Services Operations Director, said: “Following the initial reduction in call outs to patients during the first lock down, 2020 has been both busy and challenging for our service. The school Summer holiday period is always busy for Devon Air Ambulance, but in 2020 the demand for our service remained very high from April right through to October.” 

Being tasked to 406 incidents, it’s very clear that the two, rapid response, Critical Care cars introduced by DAA in February 2020, have made a significant contribution to the service.  

Night landing sites have also proved invaluable in the past year as 207 missions took place during the hours of darkness. The charity now has over 160 landing sites situated throughout the county. 

DAA is always keen to hear from any local communities who are interested in finding out more about providing landing sites. You can contact Toby Russell, DAA’s Community Landing Site Officer at t.russell@daat.org. 
This service is not Government funded and although DAA works together with land ambulance crews at the scene, the charity is not part of the NHS. DAA is funded by the generosity of the people of Devon. 

If you would like to support the air ambulance, visit www.daat.org. You will also find a list of further interesting mission statistics at www.daat.org/mission-facts