The Official Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance Magazine
We help save lives, one day it could be yours
Issue 1 | 2017 | www.dsairambulance.org.uk
01 DSAA Cover.indd 13 09/03/2017 08:44
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elcome to the spring edition of
Beeline. This is a time of year when
nature shakes off its winter coat
and everything starts to grow like Topsy; the
same can be said for Dorset and Somerset
Despite our best efforts, the entry into
service of our new AW169 helicopter was
unfortunately delayed. This was largely due to
the time it takes to gain operational clearance
certificates for all new aircraft designs and
modifications. However, fear not, we have spent
that time very productively.
On the aviation front, we have been
familiarising the crew with every aspect
of the new aircraft layout and training the
new members of our team. We have also
been adding the finishing touches to the
newly updated hangar facilities. The clinical
training room is already in constant use, the
crew can be found in and around there most
days conducting sophisticated simulations
using our hi-tech mannequin. The operations
planning room has been fitted with all the
necessary facilities for the safe and efficient
planning of day and night missions.
Part of this has been the installation of a
weather station at the side of the hangar that
automatically feeds the operations room with
key information such as wind speed, visibility
and the height of the cloud base. Accurate
data is essential for the safe conduct of flying
but becomes even more critical when we are
conducting night operations. The system we
have installed will also link to other systems,
giving an excellent picture of the weather
situation across the region.
Our new crewmembers have been incredibly
busy. They have all completed formal training
as HEMS technical crewmembers, enabling
them to play a full and active part in assisting
the pilot with the safe and effective operation
of the aircraft. The new paramedics have also
gone ‘back to school’ and started their MSc
in Pre-Hospital Critical Care/Retrieval and
Transfer, which is sponsored by the Charity.
So, as you can imagine, there’s not many idle
moments for them all!
For the rest of the Charity, life has been
equally ‘challenging’ as we have drawn these
major projects together. Keeping everyone up
to speed with where we are and, of course,
supporting all those who generously fundraise
on our behalf remains a top priority.
I have to applaud all those in the ‘back room’
whose tireless efforts enable us to turn your
donations into real patient benefit in the most
effective way possible.
Last but not least, I would like to add my own
thanks to Gareth Williams who retired from
his role as our Lottery Manager last month.
The Charity owes him an enormous debt for
the leadership and drive he brought to our
lottery over the years, making it one of the
most successful in the country. He is succeeded
by Caroline Guy, who has been Gareth’s deputy
for a number of years. I know she will help to
build on Gareth’s great legacy.
Chief Executive Officer
Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance
Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance,
Landacre House, Castle Road,
Chelston Business Park,
Wellington, Somerset, TA21 9JQ.
Tel: +44 (0) 1823 669604
Registered Charity Number: 1078685
Editor: Tracy Bartram
Assistant Editor: Lara Battersby
Designer: Anthony Collins
Production Editor: Claire Manuel
Front cover: Farhad Islam (a.k.a. Izzy)
© 2017. The entire contents of this publication are
protected by copyright. All rights reserved. No part
of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a
retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by
any means: electronic, mechanical, photocopying,
recording or otherwise, without the prior permission
of the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance
(DSAA). The reproduction of advertisements in this
publication does not in any way imply endorsement
by DSAA of products or services referred to therein.
For advertising queries, please contact
Bamboo House Publishing Ltd
Tel: +44 (0)1225 331023
Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance @dsairambulance 3
03 Foreword.indd 3 09/03/2017 08:46
A letter from the Chief Executive Officer
WHO WE ARE
6 About us
YOUR service, provided for people in YOUR area,
with YOUR support
7 Welcome aboard!
The newest members of our crew
8 A note from the Chairman
Roger Morgan bids farewell to Lottery Manager
WHAT WE DO
9 Awards of excellence
The best and brightest from the air ambulance
10 Clinical update
New additions to our team, increased operating
hours and a new clinical training facility
12 Roving Reporter
Dorset Echo Reporter Rachel Stretton goes behind
the scenes with our crew
15 Our partners
Recent events with the Association of Air
Ambulances and the South Western Ambulance
Service NHS Foundation Trust
WHY WE DO IT
17 “Never did I dream that I would
need their help”
After a life-changing fall, Bob Maclellan needed
DSAA’s swift assistance
4 01823 669604 | www.dsairambulance.org.uk
04-05 DSAA Contents .indd 4 09/03/2017 08:42
18 Second time lucky
DSAA came to Peter Sear’s aid for a second time
when he suffered a serious incident while cycling
20 Against all odds
In October 2014, Anita Wyburgh was fighting for
her life. Yet she is here today, defying all predictions
22 “I can’t thank the crew enough”
Gillingham resident Alan Whaley shares his story
23 “The angels must have been busy
Dorothy Cooper was airlifted after collapsing at the
wheel of her car
24 “I knew that staying calm was
Former Flying Instructor Henry Banks managed to
stay calm while suffering a heart attack
26 Why every cyclist should know
CPR – a rescuer’s story
Cyclists George Wiseman and Chris Pinnell had a
dramatic time on the Mendips
29 Thank you for helping baby
When new-born baby George Ward stopped
breathing, he was rushed to hospital by DSAA
HOW PEOPLE HELP
31 From lifesavers to Coastbusters
Not content with saving lives all over the two
counties, the DSAA crew now plan to cycle 54 miles
on triplet and tandem bikes to raise money
32 Leap of faith
Kerry Webber wanted to thank DSAA for helping
her son Jayden. So she jumped from 15,000ft.
33 Dorset Golf and Country Club
Spacemen, beer tasting and golf help raise over
£10K for the Charity
33 An eggs-cellent donation!
Award-winning Rumwell Farm Shop raises funds
35 Birthday bash
Octogenarian Peter Stacey tells us about his very
35 Celebrations all round!
Party time for the Hoskins family
36 Flight for Life Lottery
Thanks for making our Grand Christmas Draw
IN THE COMMUNITY
38 In the community
Fundraising stories from across the two counties
HOW YOU CAN HELP
46 Ways to make a personal
There are many different ways you can help us
47 Night flying: we need your help
Could you help us find night-landing sites for the
48 Fundraising: why not come and
get stuck in?
Our supporters are constantly thinking up new and
innovative ways of raising funds
A selection of readers’ letters
Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance @dsairambulance 5
04-05 DSAA Contents .indd 5 09/03/2017 08:42
WHO WE ARE
The Dorset and Somerset Air
Ambulance is YOUR service –
provided for people in YOUR
area – with YOUR support
orset and Somerset Air Ambulance is a
registered charity, established to provide
relief from sickness and injury for the people
of Dorset and Somerset, by the provision of an air
ambulance. We receive no direct funding from the
Government or the National Lottery and rely on the
generosity of the public for support.
Our operational costs are over £2 million a year
and the approximate cost per mission is £2,500. It is
inevitable that these costs will rise significantly in the
coming year as our clinical team will almost double in
size due to an increase in our operating hours, the new
aircraft is bigger and uses more fuel per hour and we
have invested in a great deal of new clinical equipment
and training activities.
Since our launch in 2000 we have flown nearly 12,000
missions. We are tasked as part of the normal ‘999’
emergency process by a dedicated Helicopter Emergency
Medical Service (HEMS) desk located at Ambulance
Control (paid for by the South West Air Ambulance
Charities) and can attend up to eight or nine incidents in
a single day during the summer months.
Our airbase is situated at Henstridge Airfield on the
Dorset/Somerset border. From there, we can be at any
point in the two counties in less than 20 minutes. More
importantly, the helicopter can, if required, then take a
patient to the nearest Major Trauma Centre in the South
West within a further 20 minutes.
Providing Critical Care
Our cohort of clinicians include a mixture of Senior
Emergency Physicians, Intensive Care Consultants and
Anaesthetists, Specialist Paramedics (Critical Care) and
a small number of Paramedics and a Nurse who are
working towards the ‘specialist’ qualification. All form
part of the air operations crew and, as part of their role,
assist the pilot with navigation and operation of some
of the aircraft systems. We aim to provide a Critical
Care Team, consisting of at least a Doctor and Specialist
Paramedic, for each mission. The doctors are drawn
from NHS Hospital Trusts across the region and the
paramedics are from the South Western Ambulance
Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT).
Our pilots are provided by Specialist Aviation Services
Ltd, who operate our aircraft. They are carefully selected
because air ambulance flights are typically more
challenging than regular non-emergency flight services.
They will have a great deal of experience in low-level
operations and instrument flying.
Our operational hours are steadily increasing to 19 hours
a day (07.00am – 02.00am). Currently we operate a day
shift on the aircraft and a late shift during weekends on
our Critical Care Car (CCC).
Code of conduct
Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance is committed
to maintaining the highest standards of fundraising
behaviour and adhere to the standards set by the
Fundraising Regulator. We are also a member of the
Association of Air Ambulances (AAA).
6 01823 669604 | www.dsairambulance.org.uk
06-07 DSAA About us.indd 6 09/03/2017 08:52
A warm welcome to the
following new members
of our crew. A full listing
of our Critical Care Team
can be viewed by visiting
our website: www.
dsairambulance.org.uk Unit Chief Pilot: Mario Carretta Pilot: Dan Kitteridge
WHO WE ARE
Critical Care Doctor: Nick Foster Critical Care Doctor: James Keegan Critical Care Doctor: Sean Santos
Trainee Specialist Paramedic (Critical Care):
Trainee Specialist Paramedic (Critical Care):
Trainee Specialist Paramedic (Critical Care):
Trainee Specialist Practitioner (Critical Care):
Education Facilitator: Emily Cooper
Clinical Administrator: Jo Walker
Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance @dsairambulance 7
06-07 DSAA About us.indd 7 09/03/2017 09:15
WHO WE ARE
A note from the Chairman
Roger Morgan, Chairman of the board of
trustees, bids farewell to Gareth Williams,
our long-serving Lottery Manager
ife can be a bit of a lottery at times…
Last year, the Dorset and Somerset Air
Ambulance was deployed to help
someone I worked with for more than 25
years after she was involved in a road traffic
incident. More recently, my niece fell off
her horse and was knocked unconscious.
Both incidents are reminders that fate
can make an intervention in one’s life and
suddenly everything can change.
The air ambulance is an incredible resource,
available 365 days a year. The skills of our Clinical
Team really can make a difference at that critical
moment when patients are in need. However, this
fantastic life-saving resource may not have been around
today, if it wasn’t for the fundraising generated by our
Gareth Williams has been with the Charity almost
since our inception in 2000. As Lottery Manager he
has been instrumental in growing our lottery from
the very first £1 to where it sits today – our biggest source
Gareth with his
Crabb and Sue
After many years of service, Gareth retired at the
end of March. The achievement of leading a team that
continues to generate such significant funds, enabling
the Charity to be financially stable, plan for the future and
invest in our Clinical Team should be highly commended.
On behalf of all the Trustees, I would like to thank Gareth
for all his hard work and dedication over the years and
wish him all the best for a very happy retirement. Perhaps
anyone reading this who is not a member of our lottery
might consider signing up – you may not win the cash
prize, but you will know that someone, somewhere will
benefit as a result. It may not be you, but it could be
someone you know – it was for me.
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08 DSAA Trustees.indd 8 09/03/2017 09:19
WHAT WE DO
Awards of excellence
More than 250 guests celebrated the best
and brightest from the air ambulance
community at the Air Ambulance Awards of
Excellence, which took place last November
orset and Somerset Air Ambulance was a finalist
in two categories: Paramedic of the Year (Neil
Bizzell) and Air Ambulance Special Incident
Award (Dr Jeremy Reid, Critical Care Paramedic (CCP)
Leonie German, CCP Paul Owen and Pilot Mario Carretta).
Paramedic Neil Bizzell joined the Dorset and Somerset
Air Ambulance in September 2015. He has a passion for
education and training and is enthusiastic to the core.
Not content to use this for his own benefit, he thrives
on giving back what he has learnt to so many others,
including his ambulance service colleagues, healthcare
students and multi-disciplinary clinicians.
Neil has created immersive educational days that
are aimed at informing others of the capabilities and
skills that Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance can
provide, ensuring that the aircraft and crew are tasked
appropriately. He has pump-primed these activities with
his own time; giving hundreds of hours to prepare,
deliver and follow up on them.
The incident which saw Dorset and Somerset Air
Ambulance become a finalist in the Special Incident
Award category took place in 2016. The crew were tasked
to a serious motorcycle incident at the bottom of a
deep, narrow, heavily wooded quarry. The nearest and
with his richly
safest landing site was a field on the rim of the quarry,
approximately half a mile from the incident. This patient
was in a mortal state and without the organisation,
motivation, teamwork and skills delivered by the Dorset
and Somerset Air Ambulance Team, he most certainly
would have died.
Every aspect of the mission demonstrates the benefits
of a helicopter borne Critical Care Team: the rapid
deployment of a regional specialised clinical capability
to a remote location; landing as near to the incident
as possible by an experienced HEMS pilot; flexible
deployment of a full critical care capability well beyond
the aircraft’s vicinity (due to the fitness and motivation
of the aircrew); rapid assessment and decisive life-saving
interventions carried out when a patient needs them;
and onward safe medical transport to the hospital bestsuited
to the patient’s needs.
The Charity is extremely proud that members of its
team were recognised nationally as finalists. However,
unfortunately in both categories we narrowly missed out
on the top prize.
During the Air Ambulance Awards of Excellence,
there is a special award that is presented by the current
Chairman of the Association to someone whose activities
and work within the air ambulance community has
been such value that it deserves recognition. We were
absolutely delighted when AAA Chairman Hanna
Sebright announced that the 2016 Chairman’s Award
would be given to our very own Chief Executive Officer,
Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance @dsairambulance 9
09-11 DSAA Clinical.indd 9 09/03/2017 09:36
WHAT WE DO
The past six months have been very busy, with new additions to our team, an
increase in operating hours and the construction of a new clinical training facility
Enhancing our team
Welcome aboard to Lauren Dyson (Paramedic), Steve
Westbrook (Paramedic), Ollie Zorab (Paramedic) and
Owen Hammett (Nurse) who all joined our team in
December. All four of our new practitioners are Trainee
Critical Care Clinicians and started their Masters level
University course in January. They each have a Critical
Care Paramedic and Critical Care Doctor mentor to
enable a range of support for the University course. A
further welcome goes to our new Doctors Nick Foster,
James Keegan and Shaun Santos. All have passed their
HEMS technical crew member training and have
significantly strengthened our clinical capability. You can
view all the new members of our team on page 7.
In February, we began steadily increasing our operating
hours over the weekend period (Friday and Saturday
evenings) with the use of our Critical Care Car (CCC) until
02.00am. Having a fully functional CCC is an essential
part of our operations as there may be times when it is
unsuitable to fly during the night. All the operational
equipment we carry on our aircraft is also carried on the
car. Our thanks go to Neil Bizzell, Claire Baker, Leonie
German, Mark Williams, Steve Westbrook and Owen
Hammett, who have been instrumental in enabling the
Our Critical Care
Car enables us to
hours where flying
may be unsuitable
car to become fully operational. From April, we aim to
make this provision available seven days a week.
Neil Bizzell continues to lead a vibrant outreach
programme aimed at educating and empowering our
emergency service colleagues to mobilise critical care
for patients in need. Claire Baker, Ian Mew and Steve
Westbrook have supported this activity by creating
literature which explains our clinical capabilities.
10 01823 669604 | www.dsairambulance.org.uk
09-11 DSAA Clinical.indd 10 09/03/2017 09:37
WHAT WE DO
Brand new clinical
Ken Wenman, Chief Executive Officer of
the South Western Ambulance Service
NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT),
officially opened our new clinical training
facility on 26 October 2016
Emily Cooper joined us in December as our Education
Facilitator. Emily is an Adult Intensive Care Nurse and has
a wide experience of training multi-professionals using
simulated patients, animal tissue, human tissue and
During December many of the team took part
in Emergency Resuscitative Surgery training in
Southampton, which taught them the skills to perform
life-saving operations before the patient reaches hospital.
More recently we have spent time running simulations
on the new AW169 aircraft prior to it becoming
operational. Over the coming months, our training
sessions are packed full. We have sessions lined up with
the Coastguard, Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue
Service, Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service, as
well as a session focusing on resilience within the team.
Since we began carrying and administering blood, 23
patients have been given the possibility of life. Enhancing
our capability with carriage of blood products was
a significant project for our team and our thanks go
to Ian Mew, Michelle Walker and Leonie German for
making blood product delivery a sustainable reality. Our
continued thanks go to the Henry Surtees Foundation,
the Devon Freewheelers, Dorset County Hospital and
SWASFT for their support.
Clinical training facility
The new clinical training facility (see panel, right) at our
airbase has been well used for the team’s training days,
governance meetings, outreach training for student
paramedics, doctors and nurses and is being used daily
for skills training by the on-duty crew.
The full facility, includes
a modern clinical training
facility, a day/night aviation
planning room, improved
clinical storage and crew rest
The whole project reflects
the Charity’s drive for clinical
excellence and effectiveness
and is designed to further
build on the success of our
and training programme.
Funding for the project
was provided last year
by the Association of Air
Ambulances Charity (AAAC)
after £5 million was allocated
from the Banking Fines Fund
(LIBOR) by then-Chancellor
of the Exchequer, George
Osborne, in support of UK’s
After the charity secured
funding for this project,
work began and took
approximately eight weeks
to complete. At the opening,
Bill Sivewright, DSAA Chief
Executive Officer, paid thanks
to those who had helped
make the project a reality.
“We owe a tremendous
debt of gratitude to so
many people. To our
landlords Geoff Jarvis and
Losan Ltd for giving us
the opportunity to further
enhance the hangar that they
so generously provide to the
“To Babcock International,
who, as well as supporting
our flying operations,
brought their wider industry
expertise to bear and
manage the build project.
“To the AAAC for helping
to secure and distribute the
funds and to SWASFT for
their enduring support to
the Charity’s operations,
especially during a significant
period of change.
“Finally, to the air
ambulance crew who have
lived through a great deal
of disruption with patience
and flexibility and have done
so without any drop in the
life-saving service provided
to the people of Dorset and
Ken Wenman then cut
the yellow ribbon, which
officially opened the new
Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance @dsairambulance 11
09-11 DSAA Clinical.indd 11 09/03/2017 09:37
WHAT WE DO
Dorset Echo Reporter Rachel Stretton went behind the scenes with our
crew to write a piece for the newspaper
phone call is all it takes to change the mood.
The air ambulance crew go from sitting
round a table, laughing, and quickly switch
to professional mode. Critical Care Paramedic Mark
Williams gets as much information from the call handler
as he can, while Pilot Phil Merritt starts up the helicopter.
Doctor ‘Izzy’ checks the kit and Trainee Critical Care
Paramedic Steve Westbrook consults a map on the wall,
which has a simple mechanism used to show exactly how
far the job is and how long it will take to get there.
They don’t run – it’s important they don’t fall and
injure themselves – but walk calmly and quickly towards
the waiting helicopter.
Outside, the blades are whirring and there’s a
strong smell of petrol in the wintry air. The yellow air
ambulance rises and moves forward, quickly becoming a
speck in the distance. They’re gone…
The transformation takes just minutes; these are
people used to springing into action and, despite the best
efforts of the call handlers to get as much information
to the crew as possible, there are times when there’s no
telling what they’re going to.
The air ambulance is often called to remote locations
or when a patient has suffered some type of major
trauma. They’re usually not the first emergency service
on scene, but their unique selling point is that they bring
12 01823 669604 | www.dsairambulance.org.uk
12-13 DSAA_Dorset_Echo.indd 12 09/03/2017 09:43
WHAT WE DO
the best of the district’s hospitals right to the patient,
whether that be at the roadside or coastal path, treat
them and then take them to the hospital which best suits
their needs – this could be as far away as Swansea.
Just minutes before, we’d been sat around a table,
enjoying a cup of tea and talking about their work. The
team works 12-hour shifts and is called out on average
three or four times a day. However, this can rise to eight
or nine during busier periods.
The airbase is very comfortable; there’s a kitchen in the
building so the team can prepare food and eat, as well as
a rest area, but many of the team are studying for exams
so they spend much of the time at their books.
Understandably, there is tough competition for
air ambulance jobs. Steve Westbrook was one of 60
applicants who applied during the last recruitment
process and the doctors are drawn from hospitals across
the area to bring the best expertise.
“I always wanted to join the air ambulance and
was delighted when I was successful,” says Steve.
spent time with
the DSAA crew
“The selection process was rigorous and involved four
assessments (three clinical and one in leadership),
physical and written tests, a presentation and a formal
For the team, it’s also about finding the right
“If you get the wrong person it can disrupt the whole
ethos of the team,” says Izzy. “It’s so important to find
someone who has the same values that we share.”
There is one Helicopter Emergency Medical Service
(HEMS) Desk, which helps task all five air ambulances
in the South West. This is based at the South West
Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT)
control room in Exeter.
While all efforts are made to ensure the team knows
as much as possible before landing, there are often
unknowns. The pilots will land as close as possible, but
sometimes there is still a considerable distance to travel.
The crew members each carry a 20kg bag on their backs,
which contains a whole range of equipment and drugs,
so they have to be extremely fit.
Izzy says: “The equipment we carry is vital. We can
anaesthetise patients, carry out surgical procedures, give
blood if the patient is critically unwell and if they are in
cardiac arrest we have machines to assist us.”
Despite their swift and often lifesaving actions, there
are often times when the air ambulance crew hand a
patient over to the care of a hospital and never find out if
they survived or got better.
“Patient feedback helps us to identify the full impact of
our service,” says Mark. “It’s lovely to receive letters and
cards from the people we have helped. I love the fact that
in my job I get to fly in a helicopter, but treating patients
and finding out what we did made a difference, that’s
what makes it incredible!”
Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance @dsairambulance 13
12-13 DSAA_Dorset_Echo.indd 13 09/03/2017 09:43
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WHAT WE DO: OUR PARTNERS
reception held by the All Party Parliamentary
Group for Air Ambulances (APPGAA) took
place on the House of Commons Terrace,
Westminster on 28 November 2016. The event, hosted
by Chairman of the APPGAA Jim Fitzpatrick MP, gave
members of both Houses of Parliament the opportunity
to meet with representatives from air ambulance
charities and ambulance services.
Jim introduced Rob Wilson MP, Parliamentary Under
Secretary of State for Civil Society, who thanked the
APPGAA for all their hard work before addressing the
audience. He said: “Air ambulances across the UK have
grown to play a key role in our emergency services’
response capacity. The air ambulance network needs to
consider not only how to continue saving lives but also
ways to enhance the network so that they can continue
saving lives into the future. The UK is the second most
generous nation in the world, donating £11 billion to
good causes. The public must trust that their fundraising
is going to great causes and you have my continued
support as the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for
Representatives from DSAA were delighted to be able
to meet some of our local MPs in person during the event,
From left: Tracy
Trustee), Dr Tony
Doyle and Debbie
all of whom were keen to find out more about the Charity
and the plans we have for the future. The Association
of Air Ambulances (AAA) once again supported the
reception for the fourth year, bringing patients, charities,
ambulance services and legislators together.
More information on the APPGAA,
Association of Air Ambulances and the
air ambulance community can be found by
Registered Charity No. 1014697
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15 DSAA APPGAA.indd 15 09/03/2017 09:45
WHAT WE DO: OUR PARTNERS
Celebrating the work of ambulance
very day, hundreds of volunteers from across
the South West attend incidents in their local
communities on behalf of South Western
Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT).
Sometimes they simply provide reassurance prior to the
ambulance arriving, but their presence can also mean
the difference between life and death.
SWASFT is supported by more than 5,200 people
who respond ahead of an ambulance or air ambulance
via different initiatives, including Community First
Responder schemes (volunteers trained by the ambulance
service to respond to certain incidents in their local
communities, usually rural and isolated in nature)
and British Association for Immediate Care (BASICS)
doctors. These medical professionals support ambulance
clinicians by attending incidents, where their skills and
knowledge make a positive difference to patients.
Colleagues from other organisations including the
RNLI, St John Ambulance and fire service also act as
Responders and provide valuable assistance at the scene
of incidents. Many SWASFT staff also attend incidents
when they are off-duty by booking on with control.
There are now more than 3,400 defibrillators registered
with SWASFT. This number has increased significantly
in recent years and in many cases it is a volunteer who
coordinates the registration process.
Many communities have worked tirelessly to raise
funds for defibrillators within their towns and villages
and it is important that their work is acknowledged too.
As a way of thanking all of our volunteers for their hard
work, dedication and commitment to helping others,
SWASFT held an awards ceremony at Dillington House,
Ilminster. This is one of three events held across the Trust
the Group Award
the Group Award
area to formally commend the thousands of community
champions who work so hard all year round.
Rob Horton, Responder Manager for SWASFT, said:
“We are extremely grateful to the many Responders who
volunteer to help members of their local community
in their time of need. These awards were a great way
to showcase some of the outstanding work that our
Responders do on behalf of the Trust – their dedication,
commitment and hard work deserves to be formally
acknowledged. Their assistance is invaluable and on
behalf of the Trust I would like to sincerely thank them
for their support.”
16 01823 669604 | www.dsairambulance.org.uk
16 DSAA_Swasft.indd 16 09/03/2017 09:59
why we do it
“Never did I dream that
I would need their help”
After a life-changing fall, Bob Maclellan needed DSAA’s swift assistance
n 2008, Bob Maclellan suffered a serious fall
while at home. He was having an underground
garage built at the time and, while walking
around the garden, he fell through a fence, bounced off
the wall and landed in the footings of the garage.
Fortunately, a lady who was walking her dog heard
Bob calling for help and together with a neighbour
managed to contact a first responder who lived
close by. She promptly arrived and helped
stabilise Bob, who was in a lot of pain. Due to the
obviously serious injuries that he had suffered, a
call was made to ambulance control.
Bob had suffered a head injury on impact
and totally shattered his left shoulder, as well
as suffering a break to his right shoulder. He had
also broken his spine and has no recollection of
Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance arriving or his
flight to Dorset County Hospital.
“The air ambulance team made sure that I got to
hospital as quickly as possible. The incident happened
at 4.30pm in the afternoon and at 02.00am I was
subsequently transferred to Southampton. My partner
Jan was told that if I survived 24 hours, I would be very
Of the 675
flew last year,
82 patients had
suffered a fall
lucky and would at the least be severely disabled. I was
unconscious for about seven weeks and during that time
was transferred back to Dorchester to be closer to home
so that Jan could visit me.
It’s now eight years on and there are still many things
that I struggle to do, as my balance is not good. I do as
much as I can though, and manage to walk with
sticks. I am so grateful to the air ambulance team
who helped me that day and if I could give the
Charity a million pounds I would.
Back in 2001, Jan and I, together with two
friends John and Joan Saunders, started the
‘Cool Country’ Country Music Club in West
Camel, which this year supported Dorset and
Somerset Air Ambulance. Never did I dream that
one day I would need their help but I did and I can’t
thank them enough for being there in my time of need.
“In January, after 21 years of being together, Jan and I
got engaged. Our wedding date is set for Friday 14 April at
Haselbury Mill, followed by a cruise around Ireland and
Scotland for our honeymoon!”
Many congratulations to Bob and Jan from everyone
here at DSAA.
Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance @dsairambulance 17
17 DSAA_Why we do it.indd 17 09/03/2017 10:01
why we do it
Second time lucky
The Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance came to Peter Sear’s aid for a second
time when he suffered a serious incident while cycling
was cycling home after a day’s work (as a
volunteer) at the East Somerset Railway. The
last thing I remember before my incident is
turning into Chesterblade Road (north-east of Evercreech)
by the church.
How the incident happened is still unclear. There were
reports that I was speeding out of control, crashed my
bike into a hedge on the side of the road and then fell
backwards onto the road surface. The police officer at
the scene determined that my speed was approximately
20-22mph, which would have been about normal for me
(I have a speed and distance recorder on my bike and this
showed that my maximum speed on that last journey
was 23mph). He also stated that there had been some type
of collision (about which I remember nothing).”
A First Responder called Helen Jefferis, who is also
a DSAA volunteer, was first to arrive on scene. She
remembers the incident well…
“I had barely done an initial assessment on Peter before
the air ambulance helicopter landed in the nearest field.
Furthermore a rapid response vehicle and double crewed
ambulance turned up reasonably quickly. It was amazing
to see everyone up close, working together to make sure
that Peter got the best possible attention. Air Ambulance
Critical Care Paramedic Mark Williams organised the
whole scene; I was so impressed by both the speed at
18 01823 669604 | www.dsairambulance.org.uk
18-29 DSAA_Why we do it.indd 18 09/03/2017 10:21
why we do it
which they arrived and by their calm and professional
approach. It made me feel very proud to be a volunteer
for such a wonderful organisation.”
Peter’s wife Anne had just arrived in Germany
visiting a friend. The police officer at the scene
discovered (from items that he was carrying)
where Peter lived and then neighbours helped
to contact his eldest daughter Rachel in
Bracknell. Rachel and her sister Catherine
arranged for Anne to fly back from Germany
the following day to meet Peter’s brother at the
hospital. She was still unaware of the severity of
“I was unconscious in intensive care at Southmead
Hospital for five days. My injuries included five broken
ribs, several ‘Le Fort Stage 3’ fractures to my face, two
brain bleeds and the odd bruise or 10! In total, I spent
four weeks in hospital (Southmead and then Yeovil
District Hospital). I am now largely recovered except for
the occasional memory lapses (at least, that’s my excuse
Peter and his wife
Anne met some
of the crew
of our missions last year
took place in the county
now!) and a problem with my right shoulder, which is
improving with physiotherapy.
“My daughter Rachel is a Teaching Assistant and now
uses my bloodstained and battered cycle helmet as a
teaching aid to encourage her school pupils to ride
“This is actually the second time Dorset and Somerset
Air Ambulance has come to my aid (you’ll begin to
think I’m accident prone). Some years ago, possibly ten,
I was working in my garden with a brush cutter and
accidentally cut into a wasps’ nest in the base of a shrub.
They didn’t like it very much! I had wasps’ stings all over
my head, but managed to get back indoors, shut my dog
away, put myself in the recovery position on the floor
with the phone, call the ambulance service and phone
my wife’s school… then oblivion! When I came round
there were four paramedics, a land ambulance and the
air ambulance; on this occasion, however, I was taken to
hospital by road.
“Working at the East Somerset Railway is a hobby. By
profession I’m a retired Vicar, and I now help out
in St Peter’s Church in Evercreech. I have since
discovered that I am the third member of that
church congregation who has been helped by
the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance. In
light of this, the Church Council decided that
25 per cent of our Christmas collections would
go to the Charity.
“I shall always be eternally grateful to Dorset
and Somerset Air Ambulance and was delighted
to be able to meet the aircrew who undoubtedly saved
The crew who attended this incident were: First
Responder Helen Jefferis, Dr David Martin, CCP
Mark Williams, Paramedic Steve Westbrook and
Pilot Max Hoskins
Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance @dsairambulance 19
18-29 DSAA_Why we do it.indd 19 09/03/2017 10:21
why we do it
On her sponsored
was joined by
Against all odds
In October 2014, Anita Wyburgh was fighting for her life. The police report
from the road traffic incident stated ‘Death is imminent’. However, with amazing
courage and determination, Anita is here today, defying all predictions
nita’s incident took place near Wareham in
Dorset. She had little or no recollection of it,
but has since been told that she was found
by two cyclists (both doctors) who called the emergency
services for help.
“I was flown to Southampton Hospital by Dorset and
Somerset Air Ambulance and have recently found out
how wonderful the crew were, to keep me alive until I
arrived. My family were called to the hospital; my son
Zach was playing rugby at the time and was called off
the pitch and told I had been in an accident. A dad from
the opposing team kindly offered to drive Zach to the
hospital where he met my two brothers, two sisters,
my mum and stepdad. It was then that they were told
that due to the severity of my injuries, I was unlikely to
survive and that they should say their goodbyes. Together
they waited several hours not knowing if I was going to
make it or not.
Over the next week I underwent three operations to
basically put me back together. The consultants and staff
at the hospital were amazing. My twin sister Den took
Zach under her wing and cared for him. They were kept
up to date on my condition and visited me every day for
It was after this that the family were told to prepare
for the fact that, although I had survived, I would never
walk again due to the severity of my injuries. They
were: L1, L2, L3 - transverse process fractures; left rib
fracture; bilateral pelvic bone fractures; left multiple
fractures and acetabular fracture; right posterior femoral
head dislocation; posterior pelvic bone fractures with
sacroiliac joint disruption; right femoral fracture; right
knee extensor surface degloving injury with exposure of
patellar tendon; medial perivascular haematoma; right
isal patellar pole fracture; bilateral above knee occlusive
DVT; left sciatic nerve injury with foot drop.
Basically I was a complete mess. Den was told that
the consultants had never worked on a pelvis so badly
crushed and damaged; in normal circumstances the
patient would have been deceased.
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18-29 DSAA_Why we do it.indd 20 09/03/2017 10:21
On 28 October I was taken to Salisbury District Hospital
for plastic surgery on my right leg. Consultants worked
for six hours, taking some of my tummy away to fill the
large hole where my leg had been degloved. In total, I
spent seven weeks on the Laverstock Ward.
Long road to recovery
After a number of weeks I started receiving some very
gentle physio; first I was helped to sit up, then getting
onto the edge of my bed and finally trying to place my
feet on the floor. This was an extremely scary and painful
process and took several days to achieve. During this time
I was measured for my own wheelchair; when it arrived I
did not have the best of feelings, but I had already made
myself a promise that I would NOT be wheelchair bound
for the rest of my life.
On 16 December I was transferred to Poole Hospital
and subsequently transferred to Alderney Hospital on 23
December for rehabilitation. After many hours of hard
work, sweat, pain and tears, I managed to stand up for
the first time (albeit with the use of equipment with
straps that went round me and mechanically lifted me
into an upright position). The feeling was amazing as I
had spent the best part of three months laid in bed. A few
sessions later, with the use of the apparatus, I took my
first step! Despite the pain, by the end of the session I had
managed a total of SIX!
I continued with physiotherapy and was introduced
to a Pulpit Frame. This was important in order for my
injuries to be allowed to heal and helps get the legs
moving. After several weeks, I managed to get to around
200 steps and began focusing on the quality of the steps
rather than the quantity or distance.
On 31 March 2015, after having been given a package
of care, I finally returned home in my wheelchair after
spending six months in hospital.
Over time I managed to progress to a zimmer frame
and then finally I started to practise walking with
crutches. This all took several months but I began
thinking to myself that within the next year, I could be
out of the wheelchair for good.
Unfortunately this was not the case. At the end of
September, everything was brought to a standstill. The
top four screws that were holding the metal plate in
place on my right femur sheared off and the plate bent
putting me in intense pain. My doctor came out to see me
and I ended up back in Poole Hospital with complete bed
rest for a month.
Giving something back
I was eventually sent home on 16 November and awaited
the date for a further operation at Southampton. This
arrived and was scheduled for 1 December. The operation
would involve performing a larger cut from my hip to my
knee in order to locate all the pieces of the broken screws,
and remove the other screws and the metal plate. Finally,
a nail was placed from my knee into my femur and bolted
into place. I went home on 23 December 2015, just in
time for Christmas.
After recovering from the operation, I restarted my
physio and life continued to get better. My family bought
Brave Anita with
and Dawn Sims
why we do it
me a second-hand mobility scooter, which has been
brilliant in giving me some freedom from my four walls.
It was then that I decided I wanted to give something
back to the people who worked so hard to save my life in
the first place. If it were not for the crew of Dorset and
Somerset Air Ambulance, I would most certainly not be
here today. I decided to do a 100-metre walk with my
crutches; a real challenge for me. The walk was planned
to take place during National Air Ambulance Week and
as part of an event at Hengistbury Head.
One of the original air ambulance crew who attended
my incident was Critical Care Paramedic Michelle Walker
who was local to the area and actually on maternity
leave. When she heard of the challenge she decided to
come along on the day to meet me. She walked the 100
metres with me and we chatted; I had so many questions
for her with regards to my incident and she managed to
answer most of them. I thanked her for saving my life but
those words just don’t seem enough.
So what’s next? I need to have a couple more operations
to help with the nerve pain I have in my left leg and
my right femur is still broken with no sign of healing.
Fortunately there is no sign of infection, which is good
news. My body is producing new bone growth but it is
depositing on my hip and pelvis, causing me tremendous
pain. This has been verified with scans so a hip
replacement is now on the cards.
I’ve probably lost about a year on my recovery but at
least I can restart physio, which is fantastic. They say that
you sometimes have to take a couple of steps backwards
to get better again so I guess I just need to be patient – not
something I am very good at!
This time next year who knows… Watch this space!”
The crew who attended this incident were: CCP
Michelle Walker, Paramedic Steve Freeman and
Pilot Max Hoskins
Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance @dsairambulance 21
18-29 DSAA_Why we do it.indd 21 09/03/2017 10:21
why we do it
Alan was airlifted
by DSAA after
breaking his thigh
“I can’t thank the crew enough”
When Alan Whaley, a 74-year-old Gillingham resident, suffered a nasty fall,
the air ambulance was called. Alan shares his story
uring the course of this year it became
apparent that not all was well with my legs. In
early October I was about to see a consultant
about a right hip replacement, following x-rays. However,
on 6 October I helped my partner Jan in with some
shopping, caught my foot on a small threshold and fell
on the top of my right leg, which ended up at a very
I was in agony and screaming in pain so Jan called
the emergency services. A first responder arrived
from Shaftesbury and gave me oxygen and
painkillers. The land ambulance then arrived
and the crew realised I was in a bad way when
they saw that I had suffered a difficult break.
They discussed the road trip to both Yeovil and
Salisbury Hospital before making a decision that
the air ambulance would be a better option.
It was not long before the Dorset and Somerset
Air Ambulance landed in the field behind our house.
Fortunately, I was heavily sedated when the crew took
me back to the field towards the helicopter; it was very
uneven, which meant it was a little bumpy. I vaguely
remember the flight to Dorchester hospital, that’s
probably because of the sedation – I could have been
going to the moon as far as I was aware. As we landed
of our missions last year
took place in the county
I was given further medication to help with the pain,
which certainly made a big difference.
X-rays established that I had broken my right thigh, a
little distance under the hip. I was operated on the next
day with a ‘hanging nail’ inserted to hold the break, and a
metal rod inserted into my leg from thigh to knee. I spent
the next ten days in hospital. I was eventually discharged
on 17 October and I am currently getting around the
house with the use of crutches. I have had one return
visit to Dorchester hospital for X-rays, but it does
look like a long healing process.
As a long-term Dorset resident, Jan has
supported the Charity by way of regular
payments and raffles since the days that
collectors came round like football pool reps.
I haven’t been a Dorset resident as long and
didn’t know much about the air ambulance
until it was needed by a couple of our Bowls Club
colleagues in Gillingham.
The importance of such a service is certainly brought
home when you need it yourself and I can’t thank the
crew enough for the part they played that day.
The crew who attended Alan’s incident were:
Dr Tony Doyle, CCP Leonie German and Pilot
22 01823 669604 | www.dsairambulance.org.uk
18-29 DSAA_Why we do it.indd 22 09/03/2017 10:21
why we do it
“The angels must have been busy
After collapsing at the wheel of her car, Dorothy Cooper was airlifted to hospital
have been a supporter of the Charity for a few
years now, but on 5 May 2016 I was rescued
myself after an accident at Charlton Marshall.
I collapsed at the wheel of my car, travelled on for half a
mile unconscious, crossing the A350 and hitting a 6ft tall
brick wall, ending up in a garden.
I was cut out of my car and flown to Southampton
Hospital; a journey which I understand only took about
eight minutes. That in itself proves how essential the air
ambulance service is. Thanks to the skills of the crew, I
received immediate and vital assistance. I was put into
an induced coma overnight and when I woke up the
following morning, I remember hearing nurses talking.
That’s when I realised I was in hospital. Miraculously,
the nurse explained that the injuries I sustained in the
accident only included bruised ribs and a cut on my foot,
which was amazing.
Subsequently, however, it seems that on the day of my
incident, I may have suffered an epileptic seizure and
MRI scans show that I have a bigger fight ahead.
I am 67 years old and until now have been fit as a
fiddle. After a trip to Cornwall on holiday, I suffered a
and her husband
grand mal seizure; I actually had a total of eight or nine
within a two-week period. This type of seizure features
a loss of consciousness and violent muscle contractions
and is caused by abnormal electrical activity throughout
the brain. After undergoing further tests, consultants
informed me that the seizure was caused by a brain
tumour, which triggers epilepsy.
The tumour is apparently inoperable so I have been
undergoing radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatment,
which is nearing the end. Fortunately, I am in no pain and
I am so lucky to have such a wonderful husband in Barrie,
who has been incredible. We are both staying positive and
we both have faith. A friend told me after the accident that
the angels must have been busy that day; that’s certain for
sure. I just want to say how thankful I am to the team
who helped me and enclose a small donation in grateful
appreciation. I know it’s only a ‘drop in the ocean’
compared to the huge cost of running your service but I
am truly grateful.
The crew who attended Dorothy’s incident were:
CCP Mark Williams, Dr Tony Doyle and Pilot
Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance @dsairambulance 23
18-29 DSAA_Why we do it.indd 23 09/03/2017 10:21
why we do it
“I knew that staying calm was crucial”
Former flying instructor Henry Banks shares the story of his heart attack and
n the morning of 1 April 2016, I was carrying
out a few chores at home and in the garden
before getting changed to play a seniors
competition at Mendip Golf Club, where I was Vice-
Captain. I went outside and loaded my golf equipment
into the rear of the car. As I lifted the golf bag, I felt a pain
in my left shoulder. Although it felt strange, I thought
that I must have pulled something earlier that morning. I
went into the house and sat on the settee next to my wife
Annette. My daughter Philippa was also in the room.
All of a sudden I started to feel hot and sweaty so I took
off my jumper and within seconds I started to feel sick. I
got up and looked at myself in the mirror to see my face
totally ashen. It was then that I realised I was suffering
another heart attack; I had previously had one in 2000
and then again in 2002.
I knew that staying calm was crucial in keeping my
pulse rate down and that we needed to act quickly, so
I asked my wife and daughter to dial 999. I actually
remember saying it’s not an April fool as I have been
known to wind them up at times. Within 15 minutes
a first responder from Frome arrived by car and
performed an ECG. He confirmed that I was having a
The pain in my shoulder began increasing and I
remember the first responder administering pain relief
before asking my wife if the ambulance was on the way.
She said yes, but apparently all the local land ambulances
were committed and one was on its way from Bristol.
The first responder went back on his radio and
confirmed this before requesting assistance from the
air ambulance. I turned to my wife who was holding my
24 01823 669604 | www.dsairambulance.org.uk
18-29 DSAA_Why we do it.indd 24 09/03/2017 10:21
why we do it
hand and told her that I loved her; I felt this might be my
last chance to do so.
I heard the air ambulance overhead, it sounded
like it was circling, trying to find a place to land. The
ambulance crew from Bristol turned up and before
long the air ambulance crew appeared in their red
flight suits (Critical Care Paramedic Paul Owen and
Dr Phil Hyde were their names).
Paul took charge as soon as he entered the
room. He was kind and reassuring, which was
great as I was so scared of what might be. He
also reassured my wife and daughter and we
sensed we were in the best possible hands. He
introduced Phil who spent time gleaning as much
information from the first responder (I wish I knew
his name!) while examining the ECG printout.
After a quick consultation, it was agreed that the
ambulance would take me to the helicopter, which had
landed on a near playing field, and I would be flown to
the Royal United Hospital in Bath.
Paul asked me if I had flown in a helicopter before;
I told him I used to be a helicopter Flying Instructor in
and wife Annette
year suffered from
the Army so I was more used to Chinooks! With that, he
made a light-hearted comment to the Pilot (Phil Merritt)
about making the flight a good one, which somehow
lightened the state. He attended to me throughout the
flight, which was extremely quick.
We touched down on the cricket pitch opposite the
A&E department where nurses and porters were waiting
with a trolley. I was whisked straight through the A&E
Department to theatre where a Consultant called Dr
Robert Lowe was waiting for me. I was promptly prepared
for an angioplasty; dye was put into my blood system,
which showed up on a screen and identified that my
right main coronary artery was completely blocked.
Two stents were fitted to open up the walls of the
artery allowing the blood to flow once more. After the
operation I was shown a ‘before and after’ picture of the
state of my arteries. The first (on admittance) showed no
blood flow, just a static set of lines akin to a road map.
The second picture showed a distinctive pulsating of
the arteries and blood now passing through.
I couldn’t believe that within two hours of
experiencing the first signs of my heart attack, I was in
the Coronary Care Unit at RUH Bath recovering from
It’s almost certain that had I not been treated as
quickly as I did, I would have suffered massive heart
failure. I have no doubt that the speed of the air
ambulance, the care I received from the first
responder and Paul Owen, together with the fact
that a doctor was on board the aircraft (which
ensured my visit to A&E was bypassed) has
saved my life.
I am eternally grateful to the team at Dorset
and Somerset Air Ambulance and will endeavour
to support them for the rest of my days. I have
already signed up to the Charity’s Flight for Life
Lottery and am now the seniors Captain at Mendip Golf
Club for 2017. The biggest thrill of my appointment is
that I get to choose my Charity of the Year. No surprise
which one I picked!!!!!!!
The crew who attended this incident were: Dr Phil
Hyde, CCP Paul Owen and Pilot Phil Merritt
Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance @dsairambulance 25
18-29 DSAA_Why we do it.indd 25 09/03/2017 10:22
why we do it
Why every cyclist should know CPR
– a rescuer’s story
Good friends George Wiseman and Chris Pinnell are two extremely keen
cyclists. On 31 July 2016, a cycle ride on the Mendips ended with George
needing to save his friend’s life. Together they give a full account, praising the
work of the emergency services involved
hris and I had planned a fast and furious cycle
ride on the Mendips with as many hills as we
could cram in within our three-hour window.
For the first time, Chris had agreed to take in a café
stop around the halfway point. However, the events
that unfolded that day meant we would never make
it that far.
After summiting Burrington Coombe, we proceeded
along a well-cycled route towards Priddy. As we climbed
to the top of a short, steep hill, I became aware that Chris
had (unusually) dropped back. When I turned around, I
saw him on the side of the road on all fours and in obvious
pain. Very quickly, he collapsed, became unconscious and
stopped breathing altogether. My military first aid training
kicked in and was dragged from my memory bank in a bid
to save my helpless Lycra-clad pal.
Fortunately another cyclist was in the vicinity and I
asked them to call for an ambulance. For the next 20
exhausting minutes, while waiting for the arrival of
the emergency services, I administered CPR in a bid to
keep the precious oxygen pumping around his heart
and brain. Meanwhile, my ears were straining for the
welcoming sound of not only a road ambulance siren
but, given our isolated position, the precious sound of the
whirling helicopter blades of the air ambulance.
First to arrive was the land ambulance from Weston
and local emergency medical Land Rover. A few minutes
later, the air ambulance crew arrived and everyone
worked together brilliantly in trying to stabilise Chris and
prepare him for his flight to hospital. He was placed on a
stretcher and taken to the helicopter, having to cross over
a fence in the process.
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18-29 DSAA_Why we do it.indd 26 09/03/2017 10:22
why we do it
After 30 years in the military, I was well aware of the
slick and professional teamwork of medical teams, but
this was my first experience in a civilian setting.
I was immensely impressed and proud of how the
Ambulance Service and Dorset and Somerset Air
Ambulance teams quickly synergised their finely honed
capabilities to give Chris the very best chance of survival.
Within minutes, Chris was flown to Bristol Royal
Infirmary while I was left with the logistical challenge
of recovering the bikes home, with the help of my
A view from the crew
Air ambulance Doctor Rob Török remembers
Chris’s incident well….
We were tasked by HEMS control to a collapsed cyclist at
09.31 on that morning. Within three minutes we were
in the air on what was a bright and sunny day. We had
a clear view of the ambulance and scene as we arrived
overhead less than 20 minutes after our initial call. There
was a suitable landing site just beyond the incident with
good access to the patient.
The ambulance crew quickly provided us with an
update on events so far, including the fact that they had
already needed to provide two shocks to defibrillate Chris’s
heart. I remember George confirming that he was trained
and had provided CPR from the start of the incident as
well as helping with information and logistics after
we had taken over control of the situation.
Paul Owen and I rapidly re-assessed Chris’s
condition and we confirmed our plan to
anaesthetise and intubate him. This was carried
out before transferring him into the helicopter
ready to fly to Bristol Royal Infirmary. Just as we
were about to take off, Chris’s heart once again
stopped beating. After another defibrillation his
condition remained stable throughout the 12-minute
flight from scene to hospital. We then handed Chris’s
care over to the resuscitation team and cardiologist in
the Emergency Department at BRI.
Chris’s positive outcome was
most certainly due to a number
of key factors:
Chris’s initial difficulty was witnessed and
responded to rapidly and effectively by a
member of the public who had prior knowledge
An early 999 call was made to summon
assistance alongside effective CPR being
delivered by George until the ambulance crew
arrived and took over.
Early identification of an abnormal heart
rhythm and the provision of two defibrillation
shocks followed by other elements of advanced
Early tasking of our Critical Care Team by the
HEMS desk, enabling specialist Critical Care skills
to be brought to the scene.
Rapid transfer to a specialist hospital that
would best meet Chris’s needs.
Left: Chris Pinnell
and his family
wife Louise and
We can be at any
point in the two
counties in less than
My brain blocked the events of what happened that
day, although I was told that I reacted to George’s voice
at hospital. As a fit and healthy 46-year-old, who has
exercised since being a teenager, never smoked, eats
healthily and doesn’t drink much alcohol, hearing that I
had suffered a cardiac arrest was clearly a shock to me.
After arriving at the Bristol Royal Infirmary Intensive
Care Unit I underwent angioplasty (a procedure to widen
narrowed or obstructed arteries or veins) and had two
stents put into one of my arteries; I remained in an
induced coma for the next 48 hours and when I
awoke my wonderful wife was at my side and gave
me the news.
Eight weeks on, I am recuperating at home
but it is clear I owe my life to George, the NHS
Paramedics and of course the Dorset and
Somerset Air Ambulance.
It was certainly the intervention of the
professionals that ensured I got to the hospital in
excellent time and in a stable condition, which was
critical to my survival.
My wife, I and many of my friends and colleagues
now support the Charity and, as I speak, my youngest
son Louie is beavering away making Christmas tree
decorations to sell at the school Christmas Fair. He has so
many pre-orders already, it’s like a sweat shop in here!
The crew who attended Chris’s incident were: Dr
Rob Török, CCP Paul Owen and Pilot Chris Whipp
Please share your story
Our readers may be unaware that due to patient confidentiality,
we cannot hold patient records. That means that unless the
patients we have helped get in touch with us, we have no way of
knowing the full impact of our service.
Capturing the outcome and experiences of our patients helps to
support and improve our clinical service. A secondary benefit is,
with the permission of the patient, we are able to share their story
and experiences with others.
If you have experienced the work of DSAA please contact
our Communications Department on: 01823 669604 or email:
firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively you can
write to: DSAA, Landacre House, Castle Road, Chelston Business
Park, Wellington, Somerset, TA21 9JQ. Thank you!
Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance @dsairambulance 27
18-29 DSAA_Why we do it.indd 27 09/03/2017 10:22
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Untitled-4 13 20/03/2014 11:05
why we do it
Thank you for helping baby George
When new-born baby George Ward stopped breathing, he was rushed to
hospital in the air ambulance. His mum, Tory, shares their story
n December 2011, my son George decided that
he didn’t want to hang around in my tummy
and that he wanted his first Christmas early.
Although he was born eight weeks prematurely, we had
a relatively easy time in Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and
he was released just after Christmas.
On 30 December, while my husband Richard was
feeding him, George stopped breathing. Then started
the scariest time that both of us have ever experienced.
Richard called 999 while I started performing CPR. It
wasn’t long at all before a paramedic from Frome called
Alan turned up. He came into the lounge and took over
giving CPR as George was still not breathing.
He asked me to go and look for his red book; I now
realise that this was to get me out of the room given the
circumstances. The next thing I knew was that the air
ambulance was outside.
George was flown to the Royal United Hospital, Bath.
Alan drove me to the hospital and the first thing I
remember was one of your crew standing at the entrance.
He looked at me and put his thumb up in the air; I hoped
that this meant everything was ok or that George had at
least survived the journey to hospital.
George and baby
I was taken straight into the A&E department. George
was lying on a little bed and had a bright light shining on
him; he was stripped to his nappy and looked tiny. Rich
was making his way over in his car and hadn’t yet arrived.
I was then told that consultants were going to perform
a lumbar puncture on George and I was taken to a side
room where Rich joined me after a stressful journey to the
hospital. It wasn’t long before we were taken back into A&E
and George was whisked to the Children’s Ward where
he was going to be looked after. He spent three days in
hospital and thankfully he made a full recovery. We never
knew what caused him to stop breathing that day but the
consultants believe he may have choked on his feed.
I always support your wonderful charity whenever
I can and just wanted to pass on my thanks to the air
ambulance crew who worked that day.
I’ve sent you a recent photograph of our family. As you
can see, we have a new addition called Harry, who I am
pleased to say arrived on his due date and hasn’t required
your services – and I plan on keeping it that way!
The crew who attended this incident were: CCP
Paul Owen, Paramedic Steve Freeman and Pilot
Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance @dsairambulance 29
18-29 DSAA_Why we do it.indd 29 09/03/2017 10:22
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Untitled-1 13 18/03/2014 09:19
HOW PEOPLE HELP
Not content with saving lives all over the two counties, the DSAA crew now
plan to cycle 54 miles on triplet and tandem bikes to raise funds for the Charity
n Sunday 14 May 2017 the crew of Dorset and
Somerset Air Ambulance will, for the first
time, take part as a team in the Charity’s ever
popular Coast to Coast Cycle Challenge. The event, which
is not a race, involves cycling through some of Dorset and
Somerset’s most beautiful countryside. With only 600
places available, this year’s event sold out within 11 hours
of online registration being open.
With a mixture of quiet back roads, interspersed
with some very demanding hill climbs and equally
hairy descents, cycling the 54-mile route (from Watchet
Harbour to West Bay) on a normal bicycle is certainly a
challenge. However, this inspirational group intend to
complete the route on triplet and tandem bikes as part of
a team building exercise and in a bid to raise awareness
and as much money as possible for the life-saving charity.
The team, who call themselves the ‘Coastbusters’, have
been training at our Henstridge airbase and are being
supported by Thorn Cycles in Bridgwater.
Education isn’t something that these guys find
difficult; they are constantly studying for clinical exams,
but understanding the workings and mechanics of
operating a triplet is something new to them all. Robin
Thorn (Director of Thorn Cycles) kindly spent time with
the crew to explain how triplets are built to be strong and
safe, but the safety of all three riders ultimately rests with
the ‘pilot’ at the front; a similarity that they face every
day while on the air ambulance! After a few trial runs,
there was simply no stopping the Coastbusters team.
For the first time,
DSAA’s crew will
be taking part in
this year’s Coast
to Coast Cycle
So, the 600 cyclists who were fortunate in gaining
a Coast to Coast Cycle Challenge place this year can
expect to cycle alongside the Dorset and Somerset Air
Ambulance Critical Care Team, who deliver such an
outstanding service across the two counties.
Members of the public will once again be able to cheer
everyone on at the starting point of Watchet Harbour,
one of the pit stops along the route and enjoy the
finishing line celebrations at West Bay.
The Coastbusters Team are hoping the public will
get behind them and show their support by pledging a
donation via their JustGiving page or by text donating
from a mobile phone.
Alternatively, donations can be sent by cheque and
posted to the Charity’s head office. Every penny raised
will make a big difference.
The Charity will be keeping everyone up to date on the
progress of the team via our website and social media
channels using the hashtags #COASTBUSTERS and
Please support our ‘Coastbusters’ crew via:
MOBILE PHONE: Simply text: CREW54 £5 to 70070
CHEQUE: Please make cheques payable to ‘Dorset and Somerset
Air Ambulance’ and write ‘COASTBUSTERS’ on the reverse.
Kindly send to: DSAA, Landacre House, Castle Road, Chelston
Business Park, Wellington TA21 9JQ
Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance @dsairambulance 31
31-36 DSAA_How People Help.indd 31 09/03/2017 19:37
how people help
Leap of faith
Kerry Webber wanted to thank DSAA for
helping her son Jayden. For someone who
doesn’t like heights, she made a daring
decision when it came to fundraising…
n 24 January 2015, our son Jayden, aged
three, was airlifted to Dorchester hospital by
Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance. The little
monkey escaped the house and was hit by the car his dad
was reversing outside the house. Luckily he was driving
at less than 5mph. Jayden received a laceration to his
head, cuts, grazes and bruising all over his body as well as
suffering concussion and whiplash.
Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance were deployed to
his incident and were quick to get here. The crew were
amazing; my husband was in a state of shock with images
he will now never forget. They were even there to offer
me a paper bag when I felt queasy during the flight to
Dorset County Hospital in Dorchester.
I am pleased to say that Jayden is now doing well and
enjoying his first year at school. He and his dad both
experienced nightmares for a while, but I guess that’s
As the Charity made such a difference to our lives, I
wanted to do my bit and give something back. That’s why
I decided to jump 15,000ft out of an aeroplane and raise
funds for Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance in the
To be honest, I was dreading it. I don’t like heights at
the best of times and can’t even manage a fairground
ride. My dread was correct… I can honestly say it was the
most frightening, surreal and awful experience of my life.
Most people who have previously skydived say how they
too scared to
on a fairground
ride, brave mum
decided to take
to the skies to
loved every minute of it and would do it again. Me, not
The plane ride itself was fine. There were 12 of us in
total who took their turn to wiggle along the old schoolstyle
wooden bench to get to the opening of the plane.
It was my turn… I was dangling out of the aircraft at
15,000ft, shaking like a leaf with nothing but cloud below
me while my Instructor was perched inside.
I tucked my legs under the belly of the plane, banana
shaped myself around my Instructor, resting my head on
his shoulder, there was a shuffle and we were gone!
Hurtling towards the earth at between 120-140mph my
hands felt like ice and I tried hard to catch my breath. It
was a horrible feeling, which is indescribable, but I was
determined to smile, wave and put a thumbs up for the
camera, making it look like I was doing ok. It was all an
act, believe me!
Then came the realisation of the situation; my helmet
was lifting off and my harness felt so tight around my
thighs. The views were incredible and you could see right
out to the Isle of Wight, but it was all quite difficult to
At around 1,000ft I started to feel quite queasy and had
forgotten how much I struggle with motion sickness.
We touched the ground at around 30mph I believe, my
harness quickly detached and I subsequently vomited
Despite all the negatives, I am extremely proud of
myself for taking on the challenge and for helping to
raise funds and awareness for the Dorset and Somerset
Air Ambulance. In total, with thanks to everyone who
sponsored me, I raised £1,112.50!
Oh and finally, I thought I would mention that I have a
discount voucher for my second jump but it’s safe to say
that I won’t be using it…
The crew who attended Jayden’s incident were:
CCPs Paul Owen and Mark Williams, and Pilot
32 01823 669604 | www.dsairambulance.org.uk
31-36 DSAA_How People Help.indd 32 09/03/2017 19:37
how people help
Dorset Golf and
Spacemen, beer tasting and golf help raise
over £10K for the Charity
utgoing Captains of the Dorset Golf and
Country Club, Tim Morris and Pauline Henson,
presented Leanne Colverson (DSAA Fundraising
Coordinator) with a massive cheque totalling £10,138 for
monies raised during their year of captaincy.
Handing over the cheque, Tim said: “Throughout
the year, the support from all members for our chosen
charity has been tremendous. It felt as if everyone knew,
either first or second-hand, someone who had been
helped by this fantastic service – indeed two of our
members were helped by the air ambulance in our year.”
Speaking about their fundraising activities, Pauline
added: “We held a number of events during our year in
office including raffles, a ladies’ coffee morning and lots
of golf competitions. Tim is a Master Brewer so we hosted
a beer tasting evening, which raised over £600, and a
themed Members’ Day: ‘Ground Control to Captain Tim…’
in honour of UK Astronaut, Tim Peake, who was in space
during our tenure, raising £1,235. Our Bowls Section also
raised money throughout the year – some even auctioned
off their unwanted jewellery.
We are thrilled with the amount raised and we hope
that the money will help the Charity carry on their
A big thank you from us all!
An eggs-cellent donation!
The award-winning Rumwell Farm Shop and
Café hosted a series of fundraising initiatives in
2016, which saw £1,500 being donated to the
Charity. Anne Mitchell, joint owner of the farm
shop and café, which is located on the A38
between Taunton and Wellington, said: “We’re
thrilled to have raised such a fantastic amount
of money for DSAA, which was one of our
chosen charities of the year for 2016.
“The £1,500 was raised in a number of
ways including collection tins and a Charity
Carvery & Quiz Evening in June. Ten pence was
donated from every bag of sherbet lemons
and a further 10p from each sale of our dozen,
large, free-range eggs. Additionally, we held
a car wash in aid of the Charity, which saw
the 1st Wellington Scout Group give a helping
hand. Our thanks go to all our staff, customers
and the scout group for helping us to raise this
incredible amount of money.”
Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance @dsairambulance 33
31-36 DSAA_How People Help.indd 33 09/03/2017 19:37
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HOW PEOPLE HELP
Octogenarian Peter Stacey tells us about
his very memorable birthday
ong-term supporter Peter Stacey is
Chairman of Poole Bay Classics; a
local family-friendly classic car
club which has raised tens of thousands
of pounds for our Charity. Their annual
motoring ‘Extravaganza’ takes place on
Sunday 16 July this year and is an event not
to be missed.
Peter turned 80 in January. Not content for
him to celebrate alone, his family and friends
had a little surprise in store.
“I hit the big ‘80’ just after the end of the first week of
January. My wife Daphne and I went out for lunch that day
and left it at that. Two friends invited us out for lunch the
following Saturday by way of a small celebration and I left it
to them to choose where we should go; I just knew it had to
have easy access as one of them is wheelchair bound.
“The fact that we went to the sports club where we hold
our Classic Car Club monthly meetings did not surprise me
as the food is very good there. As we walked through the
restaurant my friend invited me to look at the menu and
we both agreed that the steak and ale pie looked like a good
choice. At that moment, Daphne asked me to look in a side
room at some decorations that had been put up.
“I opened the door to discover 90 of my closest friends; two
of whom I had been at school with when we were 11, one of
whom had travelled more than 200 miles to be there. At that
moment my six, very grown-up children appeared in front
of me with their children and my great grandson, having
travelled from all over southern England to be there. The rest
I leave to your imagination, but I assure you I had no idea
that it was about to happen, it was just fantastic.
“When Daphne, (aided by my number two daughter Jen)
sent out the invitations, she wrote on the bottom of the
form ‘no presents’ (how many paper weights and ball point
pens do you need?), however, she did say that donations
could be made to Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance,
my favourite charity. They set up a collection bucket at the
side of my birthday cake. When we emptied the bucket the
following morning we were totally amazed; it contained
£608. A fantastic end to an amazing day – thank you to
everyone who joined me on my special day.”
Celebrations all round!
“On 29 October, we had a large family party
to celebrate key birthdays and anniversaries
within our family. These were: my mother,
Una Amesbury (80th birthday); my husband,
Andy (50th birthday); my daughter, Sarah (21st
birthday); my mum and dad Una & Randolph
(60th wedding anniversary); and Andy’s and
my 25th wedding anniversary.
All the above events fell within a three-month
timeframe, so we decided to hold the party in
the middle of them all. Rather than gifts, we
decided to ask for donations to Dorset and
Somerset Air Ambulance as Andy is a farmer
and we live in the countryside, so all know the
value of the service you offer. In total we raised
£1,170 and hope that our contribution has
helped.” Best wishes, Mrs Julie Hoskins.
Pictured: Andrew, Kirsty, Sarah and Julie Hoskins
Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance @dsairambulance 35
31-36 DSAA_How People Help.indd 35 09/03/2017 19:37
FLIGHT FOR LIFE
Thanks for making our Grand
Christmas Draw spectacular!
n addition to our weekly lottery, the
Charity holds two grand raffle draws
every year. These take place during the
summer and at Christmas. Our 2016 Christmas
Draw took place on Thursday 22 December. We
were once again astounded by the amount of
support we received, as a total of £103,777 worth
of tickets were sold. Our congratulations go to all
the winners and a big thank you goes to everyone
who took part!
Our 2017 Grand Summer Draw takes place
on Thursday 6 July and we thank everyone in
advance for your help in purchasing tickets.
Tickets can also be acquired by contacting our
Lottery Office on: 01202 849530 or by emailing:
Our weekly lottery draw
Our Flight for Life Weekly Lottery provides
vital funding for our service. It was launched on
19 December 2000 and has since gone from
strength to strength. Promoting the lottery are
our canvassing team, who can often been seen
in supermarkets or visiting homes across the
two counties. Our canvassers should always
carry photographic identity badges so you can
be assured they are genuine.
Cost: £1 a week for each entry into the draw
Weekly draw takes place every Friday
No rollovers, so all prizes are won every week
Winner’s cheques are sent out in post, so no
need to claim
A list of winners can be found on our website:
2nd PRIZE £250
3rd PRIZE £150
4th PRIZE £125
5th PRIZE £100
Plus many other consolation prizes
2016 GRAND CHRISTMAS
£1,000 Mrs K Crew, Weston –Super-Mare
£250 Mrs D Davison, Huish Episcopi
£150 Mr A Brown, Weymouth
£125 Mrs M Liddiard, Bournemouth
£100 Mr P Woodman, Thorncombe
How do I join?
The easiest and most cost-effective way of
joining is by Direct Debit. Simply complete the
Lottery Direct Debit form inserted in the centre
of this magazine and return it to us at:
Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance,
Unit 3, Brook Road Industrial Estate,
Wimborne, Dorset, BH21 2BH.
If you would like to pay by cheque, please
contact the Lottery Office on: 01202 849530
The Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance Lottery
is registered with the Gambling Commission
No. 000-004838-N-100338-010 and is also a
member of the Lotteries Council. Players must be
16 or over.
36 Lottery Tel: 01202 849530 | www.dsairambulance.org.uk
31-36 DSAA_How People Help.indd 36 09/03/2017 19:37
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In the community
Caroline Pinnell and her friends held a CPR party, which raised £103.
Caroline’s husband Chris was airlifted by the Charity following a
cardiac arrest. You can read his story on page 26
60th birthday by
out of a plane
and raised £2,164.
Wow, what a buzz!
Ben Martin jumped
15,000ft out of a
plane and raised
Bill Sivewright (DSAA CEO) attended a thank you
party for those who helped and sponsored last year’s
Kingston Country Fair. He had a wonderful time and
gratefully received a cheque for £8,500. Wow!
Sandy Kemlo and William (Bill) Tame
presented us with £2,000 on behalf of the
Somerset Freemasons. Bill was airlifted in
2009 after a motorcycle incident
The Great Dorset Steam Fair raised a whopping £10,266 when visitors were
given the chance to donate in return for trailer rides! DSAA volunteers helped
out over the five days and had an amazing time meeting everyone!
38 01823 669604 | www.dsairambulance.org.uk
38-44_DSAA_Snippets.indd 38 09/03/2017 19:13
how people help
The Annual New Year’s Day Vintage Car Rally was another fantastic spectacle!
Organised by the Weymouth Vehicle Preservation Society and sponsored by
Harts Of Stur, the event raised £2,711 this year
Vic Fest was held at the Victoria Sports and Social Club during National
Air Ambulance Week. A cheque was presented on the day for £2,300.
The total amount now raised is £4,000!
DSAA volunteers attended the ever popular Vobster Santa
Dive and helped sell raffle tickets. They raised a brilliant
£1,500. Photo kindly provided by Western Daily Press/
Clare Green Photography
Yeovil Golf Club supported us as their Charity of the Year,
raising £4,572.50 from various captain events. Hole in one!
The Rotary Club of Wellington raised
£2,200 at an Ironman 70.3 triathlon
event. Volunteer Linda Battle received
the funds on behalf of the Charity
Monahan Accountants in Glastonbury
have been fundraising over the past year.
Volunteer Marie Parkes was delighted to
receive £1,500 on behalf of the Charity
Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance @dsairambulance 39
38-44_DSAA_Snippets.indd 39 09/03/2017 19:13
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Westons Cider has been making cider in the Herefordshire
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• Cider Shop and FREE Tasting (over 18’s only)
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In the community
Hunnybears Day Nursery were delighted to meet
our very own Dasher! The children had a fantastic
time taking part in a role play activity, helping an
injured patient before transporting them to hospital
The Christchurch branch of Pets at Home held
‘Colleague in a Crate’ day. No-one was harmed during
the fundraising event but a great time was had by all!
The Pride of Bournemouth and Brownsea Oddfellows
presented £100 to Volunteer John Wheatley at
a presentation evening, which formed part of the
Oddfellows’ 200-year tradition of charitable giving
Charity Manager Charlotte Routley was delighted to receive a
cheque for £150 from the organisers of the Rowbarton Charity Cup!
John Langley of Burnham and District Model Railway Club
raised £737 by commissioning model railway wagons and
raising funds at various exhibitions. We are chuffed!
Thanks Purbeck Motocross Club for raising £500.
Volunteer Roy was delighted to meet Megan and
accept the fundraising cheque on behalf of DSAA
Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance @dsairambulance 41
38-44_DSAA_Snippets.indd 41 09/03/2017 19:14
In the community
Magna Housing’s social committee donated £300 after
a staff member provided their Christmas disco for free!
‘D.I.S.C.O, singing D.I.S.C.O’
After a cardiac arrest, Louie Pinnell’s dad was airlifted by
us. To say thanks, Louie made hama bead Christmas tree
decorations and sold them at his school Christmas fair,
raising a brilliant £443. Clever boy!
A heartfelt donation in memory of Adele and Pete Coles
was kindly handed to the Charity by their daughter Tina and
Ivor Griffiths of Wiveliscombe Tennis Club. Collections from
family and friends far exceeded the cost of the memorial
bench the club had planned, so Tina and her brother Jason
decided that the rest be donated to DSAA, as it was a charity
close to their parents’ hearts. Much love from us all x
Members of the Loyal Hand-In-Hand Lodge of Oddfellows
presented Volunteer Ron Bishop with a donation of £200
Kitchen Craft recently presented a cheque of £285
after continuing their support of the Charity
The Sherborne Castle Classic and Supercar Show committee presented funds
raised from their annual event to nominated charities. Volunteer Jacky Crew
was delighted to accept a cheque for £4,000 on behalf of the Charity
42 01823 669604 | www.dsairambulance.org.uk
38-44_DSAA_Snippets.indd 42 09/03/2017 19:13
how people help
Jean Pugh organised another Gun Dog Training Day and raised £900 from entry fees! Great picture!
The ‘Rock Your Frock’ Wedding Ball saw a fantastic night of good food,
entertainment, a raffle and fantastic auction. DSAA received a donation
from the event, totalling £1,855.50
Sally Marker raised £820 at a cream tea event held in
her garden. Over 135 scrumptious cream teas were sold.
Health and social care students from Strode College
recently held a yummy ‘Cake Bake’ in the student
refectory, which raised £54! Scrummy!
DSAA were one of three charities to benefit from the proceeds of the Upton
Noble Beer Festival. Volunteer Helen Jefferis accepted a cheque for £180 on
the Charity’s behalf. Cheers!
Westminster Wire nominated DSAA for Rubicon People’s
September Charity Draw! Rubicon presented £200
to Volunteer John Hoyle and Westminster Wire kindly
matched the donation!
Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance @dsairambulance 43
38-44_DSAA_Snippets.indd 43 09/03/2017 19:14
In the community
The Woolbridge Motor Club held its 55th Anniversary Tour
in aid of the Charity, raising a fantastic £1,500
Gill and Alistair Campbell were thrilled to present a
cheque for £100 to volunteers Barbara Wilson and Diane
Albutt at the Porlock Country Fair. The funds were raised
from the proceeds of their book ‘Walks around Porlock
and Exmoor’. Picture kindly taken by Maureen Harvey
Ile Valley Flower
Club raised £3,500
at their flower
festival held at
Westonzoyland Carnival Club raised £516 from
their house-to-house Santa collections
Volunteer David Collins was presented with
£5,500 by the organising committee of the
Festival Run, following their challenge event!
A fabulous day was had by all!
The Blackmore Vale Revival event was held at
Henstridge Airfield and raised £1,250. Organisers say
that the 2017 event will be even bigger and better!
The Smugglers Inn Family Fun Day raised a brilliant
£382.56. Charity Manager Charlotte Routley received
the funds raised during a visit to the Inn
44 01823 669604 | www.dsairambulance.org.uk
38-44_DSAA_Snippets.indd 44 09/03/2017 19:14
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Untitled-1 1 28/09/2015 09:56
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HOW YOU CAN HELP
Ways to make a personal donation
There are a number of ways to support us by
making a personal donation. If you are a UK
taxpayer, the methods below allow us to claim
Gift Aid on your donation. Gift Aid enables us to
claim back 25p in every £1 donated from HMRC
and is one of the easiest ways to make your
donation tax effective. The Charity reclaims the
money and there is no additional cost to you.
To donate on a regular basis please complete
the Standing Order Form in the centre of this
You can do this over the phone by calling:
Cash or personal cheque
Please make cheques payable to ‘Dorset
and Somerset Air Ambulance’ and send to:
DSAA, Landacre House, Castle Road, Chelston
Business Park, Wellington, Somerset TA21 9JQ.
Please do not send cash in the post.
Online via JustGiving
Ask your employer if they offer a ‘Give as you
Earn Scheme’, most large employers do
Simply text DSAA01 £2/£5/£10 to 70070 (eg.
to donate £5, DSAA01 £5)
Other ways to support us
As you can see from our magazine, there are so
many different ways that you can help us! A small
selection are listed below:
Join our Lottery (simply complete the Lottery
Direct Debit form in the centre of this magazine)
Hold an event in aid of us
Become a collection box holder
Volunteer and donate the ‘gift of time’
Nominate us as your Charity of the Year at work
or your social group
Book a talk from one of our team
Leave a legacy
Recycle your unwanted textiles, mobile phones
and used stamps
Shop online – high street purchases can help
More information on these methods, together
with a number of other ways you can get involved
can be found by visiting our website:
Need to get in touch?
Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance
Landacre House, Castle Road
Chelston Business Park, Wellington,
Somerset TA21 9JQ
Tel: 01823 669604
46 01823 669604 | www.dsairambulance.org.uk
46-47_DSAA_Ways to support us.indd 46 09/03/2017 11:50
HOW HOW YOU YOU CAN CAN HELP HELP
Night flying: we need your help
Could you help us find night-landing sites for the air ambulance?
ith our new AW169 helicopter comes
W the capability to operate in the hours of
darkness and so we will be increasing our
operating hours to 19, from the current 12, to cover
the period from 07.00am through to 02.00am.
Although the crew will be using the latest nightvision
technology to assist them, flying at night
does increase the overall risk levels that they
face. The crew will always try to get the helicopter
as close to the incident as possible so that the
medical team can get to the scene quickly and to
then facilitate movement of the patient into the
helicopter for transfer to hospital. Therefore, the
crew will generally be taking the helicopter into a
location they haven’t been to before and so there
may be hazards present, such as power lines or
masts, which are difficult to see at night.
Finding the best site
To reduce the risk when flying into such locations
at night, the crew will spend some time, after
being notified of an incident, looking at computer
images of possible landing sites nearby.
Because images can be out of date, or livestock
may be present when the helicopter arrives on
scene, two possible locations, a primary and a
secondary, are chosen and then closely examined
for possible hazards. Only when the crew are
happy and have planned their approach into the
selected sites do they launch the helicopter.
Precious minutes are lost carrying out these
vital surveys of possible night landing sites, but
there is another option. If we had a grid of presurveyed
landing sites across the two counties,
then we could launch to one of those sites
with the minimum of planning and so bring our
life-saving service to where it’s needed with
Therefore, we are looking for communities, or
individuals, to offer us the use of their field, sports
pitch or playing field as potential night landing
sites for the air ambulance.
What we need
What we require is a level area of grass, tarmac
or concrete that measures a minimum of 30
metres by 60 metres (a football pitch measures
45 metres by 90 metres), has pedestrian access to
the site and vehicle access close by.
Do not worry if there are tall trees surrounding
the site, or there are power lines present as we will
survey all potential sites before adding them to
our network. There will be no need to install lights,
or make any changes to the location.
If you think that you have suitable land or an
area to support our night flying operations, we
would be delighted to hear from you.
Please email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call:
Dorset Dorset and Somerset and Somerset Air Ambulance Air Ambulance @dsairambulance 47 47
46-47_DSAA_Ways to support us.indd 47 09/03/2017 11:51
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Fundraising: why not
come and get stuck in?
ithin the world of fundraising it would
appear that there is never a ‘down time’. Our
supporters are constantly thinking up new and
innovative ways of raising funds, which enable our crew
to carry out their amazing work. Our sincere thanks go
to everyone who supports us, you really are making a big
difference! Please remember if there is anything our team
can do to help or support you in return, simply call: 01823
669604 or email: email@example.com
Get ready for Buckham Fair: We are thrilled to have
been nominated as Buckham Fair’s Charity of the Year
for 2017. The event is truly spectacular and takes place
on Sunday 20 August 2017. Martin and Philippa Clunes,
together with their organising committee, hold the fair
on an annual basis supporting local charities. We were
fortunate to be beneficiaries in 2011 and 2014, when
£35,000 and £76,000 respectively were raised, which is
absolutely incredible. So, make sure you clock the date,
it’s an event not to be missed and we look forward to
seeing you all there! For more information visit the
Buckham Fair website: www.buckhamfair.co.uk
National Air Ambulance Week (NAAW): This takes
place between Monday 11 - Sunday 17 September 2017. It
is the ideal time to show your support for your local air
DSAA is Buckham
Fair’s Charity of
the Year in 2017.
It’s an event not
to be missed
ambulance and there are so many different ways that you
can get involved. Why not hold a mufti/dress down day
at school or within your workplace; even better, give it a
yellow theme. Alternatively, you could bake cakes, have
a coffee morning, organise an event or set yourselves a
Skydive: For all you adrenaline junkies out there we
have secured two dates with Skydive.buzz where you can
jump in aid of Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance. The
September date falls during National Air Ambulance
Week, which gives you the perfect opportunity to support
us during this time. As you might have read from Kerry
Webber’s experience on page 32, it’s not for the faint
hearted and certainly a challenge. Both dates are listed on
the Skydive poster opposite. To book your place, simply
call: 01404 890222 or visit: www.skydiveukltd.com
Volunteers: Our team of volunteers continue to
represent us outstandingly. Without their help, we
simply could not service all the collection boxes located
across the two counties or the numerous events, cheque
presentations and talk presentations we attend. We are
currently looking for volunteers in the Dorchester area,
so if you would be interested in joining our team please
contact us and we will send you an information pack.
Once again, a big thank you from us all!
48 01823 669604 | www.dsairambulance.org.uk
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Fun at the fundraiser
Thank you for your letter. It was a pleasure
to donate to the Dorset and Somerset Air
Ambulance and so nice to receive a letter of
thanks. We’ve been visiting Worth Farm in
Somerset for the past six years and, having
a very poorly 10-year-old son with us, we
never know when we might need you! We
had a lovely time at the fundraising event
and look forward to attending again next
year. Please find attached a photograph of
me and my son Joe enjoying the evening.
Best wishes, Toni and Joe Underwood
My children, Jacob (7) and Grace (5), recently
held a wall-top sale outside our house. They
decided to sell DVDs and books that they no
longer needed and they wanted the money
to go to the air ambulance. Please find
enclosed a cheque and a photo of them (top
right) with a poster they made. Thank you
for all the amazing work that you do.
Best wishes, Sarah Barnard
Sharing the joy
On 2 Sept we celebrated our ruby wedding
anniversary. Instead of presents, we asked
for donations for our two charities, the
Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance and
the Labrador Rescue Trust. We raised £200
so we divided it between both. I hope it will
help a little towards the wonderful work
Best wishes, Jim and Pam White
I wanted to thank you all from the very
bottom of my heart for trying to save my
grandad’s life on Sunday. He believed he
was ‘past it’ at 88 years old and that people
wouldn’t care, but you came! After my
mum’s emergency call, First Responders,
a land ambulance and the air ambulance
arrived. I hope he knew that you came for
him and for that I will be forever grateful.
Much respect and many thanks, Mrs D Stone
Brilliant Buggies and Brunch
My name is Maddison Norman and I am
eight years old. My friend George Harrison
(aged 6) and I, with the help of the ‘Buggies
and Brunch Group’ (which I attend once
a month), did a sale of goods and raised
£60.60. I would love to donate this to the air
ambulance to say thank you for all the good
work you do.
Love Maddison and George xx
I saw the air ambulance at Musgrove
Park Hospital in Taunton today. Popped
over to talk to the pilot and discovered
he was the pilot who took my mum to
hospital last week after she had a cardiac
arrest and needed urgent care. I said thank
you and shook his hand; what else can you
say to your great crew? Thank you from all
Here’s my picture of the air ambulance
landed on a green in Blandford.
William (aged 7)
#01: Our nominated charity for 2017:
@dsairambulance saving lives every day
Huge thanks to @dsairambulance for
having us today for the @WessexCCP team
training day! #interprofessional
Buy #DeepestDorset raising funds
for @DorsetComFnd @weldmar
@dsairambulance – from indie bookshops
@winstonebooks @gulliversbks #dorsethour
Thank you to @dsairambulance for making
our quiet day a little more exciting #avgeek
Our #Wareham office is supporting
@dsairambulance with dress down days
@dorsetbikecop shares his 20yrs of
police traffic experience tonight
@BikerDownDorset on how
not to get into an accident
We’d love to hear from you!
Please send your letters to:
DSAA, Landacre House,
Chelston Business Park,
Wellington TA21 9JQ,
or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
50 01823 669604 | www.dsairambulance.org.uk
50_DSAA_Postbag.indd 50 09/03/2017 11:44
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Watergate Bay, Cornwall
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