On Sunday 1st July, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance (HIOWAA) will mark eleven years to the day since the Charity first began operations on 1st July 2007. During this time the Air Ambulance has been tasked to over 7,906 incidents across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight and the Charity’s Critical Care Team vehicle, which began operations in February 2017, has responded to over 858 call outs.
The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance will be tasked from the helipad at St Mary’s Hospital on the Isle of Wight throughout the day.
Sunday 1st July will provide an opportunity to reflect upon of the advances that HIOWAA has made to its service since the Charity first began operations eleven years ago. Since operations began, HIOWAA has continuously developed its service, with a focus on training and learning, allowing the Charity to remain at the forefront of Pre-Hospital Emergency Medicine (PHEM).
All HIOWAA Paramedics are now trained to become Specialist Paramedics and are enrolled with the University of Southampton on a Postgraduate Diploma in Advanced Clinical Practice. In addition, HIOWAA is now one of the country’s officially recognised PHEM training centres; committed to providing senior doctors to train as specialist PHEM doctors to fly as part of the Charity’s Critical Care Team. This combination of a PHEM Doctor, working alongside a Specialist Paramedic, allows the Charity’s Critical Care Teams to carry out highly specialised procedures, normally only possible within the Emergency Department of a hospital. The ability to provide this depth of medical knowledge and skill, and the ability to carry out additional medical procedures before a patient reaches hospital, is only possible because of the generosity of thousands of people across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.
As well as carrying blood and fresh frozen plasma on board the Air Ambulance, the Charity now carries a range of highly specialised equipment, normally found only in the hospital Emergency Department. Recent additions to this equipment include a Video Laryngoscope, an innovative device used by the Charity’s Critical Care Teams when they encounter difficult airways during the administration of pre-hospital emergency anaesthesia.
Chief Executive of Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance, Alex Lochrane, said: “HIOWAA’s vision is to always provide exceptional critical care to the sick and injured in their hour of need, both in Hampshire and on the Isle of Wight. We have come a long way in the past eleven years and we continue to strive to be the best at what we do. Sunday 1st July is a significant milestone for HIOWAA and as our service evolves in the future, the needs of our patients will always be kept at the heart of all we do.”