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Springing into Action | This month’s thoughts

April was, for many people, the month when we took tentative steps towards re-discovering our social side. Pub gardens opened, families and friends reunited, and the bargain-hunters amongst us could get back to browsing the boutiques.

As a charity, we’ve really missed seeing people face to face at community events. With open gardens in full bloom and the starting whistles soon to be blown on fundraising events, we’re so excited to see more of our amazing supporters over the coming weeks and months.  

But, as a frontline health service, we also know the impact that this surge in activity is likely to have. Indeed, Thames Valley Air Ambulance crews were called out 236 times in the month of April – more than double the 96 call outs received in April 2020, during the first lockdown.

The lifting of some Covid-19 lockdown restrictions on 12th April, combined with warmer weather towards the end of the month, saw a spike in activity with crews dispatched to 16 incidents in just one day on 26th April. The last week of the month was the busiest for our critical care paramedics and doctors, with 83 call outs. 

Each one of these call outs represents a person going through probably the most traumatic event of their lives

Adam Panter, Chief Operating Officer

In my role as Chief Operating Officer, I have an overview of the work of Thames Valley Air Ambulance, and I take strategic decisions on how best to serve our communities. But I’m also a qualified Critical Care Paramedic and I spend time as part of our supporting crew on the frontline. So, when I look at the call out figures coming through for April, I see more than just numbers.

Every one of these represents a person going through probably the most traumatic event of their lives. Behind each call out is a real person who our crews have fought for, to give them the best possible chance of survival and recovery. To do this over 200 times in a month is no mean feat. I feel immensely proud of our crew for springing into action during such a busy month. They stepped up when their community needed them to and, thanks to your incredible support, they will continue to be there when the worst happens.

In the meantime, we would rather you came home from your kickabout with nothing more serious than a bruised ego and that your shopping trip only damaged your wallet rather than your health. We’d love the next time you saw us to be at a community event rather than at a serious incident. So, help us to help you, by avoiding unnecessary risks. Here’s to a safe and social spring.