Cornwall Air Ambulance continues to fly to the aid of the county’s most sick and seriously injured patients.
Saving lives is this charity’s mission. Despite the pandemic, illness and injury were not put into lockdown and it was incredibly important that the charity operations adapted to make sure the crew and helicopter could respond to those in their hour of need.
The crew have continued to attend children and adults, including those who are suspected Covid-19 cases, bringing their enhanced critical care skills. Under PHE guidelines, the crew have been permitted to transport confirmed Covid-19 patients by air. The Critical Care Paramedic Team are wearing PPE for all patients and enhanced levels of PPE for the patients/procedures that carry the most significant risk of infections. The pilots are also wearing PPE and where possible, avoiding any patient contact. The charity installed a fabric screen to segregate the cockpit from the clinical space of the helicopter to help further protect pilots, who are a scarce resource. More rigorous cleaning is being carried out between missions to not only protect the crew, but to protect other seriously ill or injured patients.
With a busy summer season, an influx of visitors puts an even greater importance on the air ambulance remaining in the skies. With more people in the Duchy and greater numbers outdoors, mission numbers can often double or triple over the summer months. It is vital that the crew can continue to meet this demand, but it needs your help.
A predicted loss of at least £1 million by the end of the year is expected due to the closure of charity shops and the cancellation of fundraising events. This sustained lack of fundraising could mean the charity has to take steps to reduce the cost of operations, which could include reducing the number of hours the helicopter flies every day.
“We don’t want anyone to be left behind because of the knock-on impact of this pandemic,” explains Air Operations Officer, Steve Garvey. “We have a brand-new aircraft, with increased capabilities, we want to make sure we can continue to use it to its full potential. But the reality is, without the funding we need, we might have to look at changes in the way we operate. The aircrew have worked hard to keep flying during the pandemic, and we have adapted our ways of working. With your help we will be able to continue to bring the level of care we currently do to as many seriously sick and injured patients as possible.”