DSAA Beeline, Issue 1 2017


Dorset & Somerset Air Ambulance, official magazine Spring 2017. We help save lives, one day it could be yours.



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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Journal 196x280 for print.indd 1







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

Air Ambulance.

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.

Bill Sivewright

Chief Executive Officer

Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance

Published by:

Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance,

Landacre House, Castle Road,

Chelston Business Park,

Wellington, Somerset, TA21 9JQ.

Tel: +44 (0) 1823 669604

Email: info@dsairambulance.org.uk


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





3 Welcome

A letter from the Chief Executive Officer


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

Gareth Williams


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


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

that day”

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


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

memorable birthday

35 Celebrations all round!

Party time for the Hoskins family

36 Flight for Life Lottery

Thanks for making our Grand Christmas Draw



38 In the community

Fundraising stories from across the two counties


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

air ambulance?

48 Fundraising: why not come and

get stuck in?

Our supporters are constantly thinking up new and

innovative ways of raising funds

50 Postbag

A selection of readers’ letters


Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance @dsairambulance 5

04-05 DSAA Contents .indd 5 09/03/2017 08:42


About us

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.

Operational hours

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


Critical Care Doctor: Nick Foster Critical Care Doctor: James Keegan Critical Care Doctor: Sean Santos

Trainee Specialist Paramedic (Critical Care):

Lauren Dyson

Trainee Specialist Paramedic (Critical Care):

Steve Westbrook

Trainee Specialist Paramedic (Critical Care):

Ollie Zorab

Trainee Specialist Practitioner (Critical Care):

Owen Hammett

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


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

Lottery Team.

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

of funding.

Gareth with his

Lottery Team:

Caroline Guy

(back), Kim

Crabb and Sue

Dengel (front)

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


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

DSAA Chief

Executive Officer

Bill Sivewright

with his richly


Chairman’s Award

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,

Bill Sivewright.

Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance @dsairambulance 9

09-11 DSAA Clinical.indd 9 09/03/2017 09:36


Clinical update

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

operate during

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


Brand new clinical

training facility

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

award-winning education

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

air ambulances.

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


Roving Reporter

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


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.

Local Journalist

Rachel Stretton

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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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

Civil Society.”

Representatives from DSAA were delighted to be able

to meet some of our local MPs in person during the event,

From left: Tracy

Bartram (DSAA


Manager), Michael

Gallagher (DSAA

Trustee), Dr Tony

Doyle and Debbie

Birtwisle (DSAA



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

visiting: www.aoaa.org.uk

Registered Charity No. 1014697

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Celebrating the work of ambulance

service volunteers

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

Above: Chard

Community First

Responders won

the Group Award

for Somerset



Community First

Responders won

the Group Award

for Dorset

Bottom right:


Community Defib

Partnership won

the Defibrillator



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

missions we

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

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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

Peter’s condition.

“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

who attended

his incident


of our missions last year

took place in the county

of Somerset

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

bikes safely.

“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

my life.”

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

walk, Anita

was joined by

DSAA Critical

Care Paramedic

Michelle Walker

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

two weeks.

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

friends Tanya

Langhor, Sarita

Dominey, Lorraine


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

strange angle.

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

of Dorset

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

Phil Ware

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

that day”

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

Dorothy Cooper

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

Andy Ryder

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

subsequent airlift

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

heart attack.

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

Henry with

daughter Philippa

and wife Annette


patients last

year suffered from

cardiac symptoms

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

my ordeal.

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

wife Louise.

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

and training.

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

life support.

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

Above: George

Wiseman with

wife Louise and

son Toby


We can be at any

point in the two

counties in less than

20 minutes

Chris’s appreciation

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:

communications@dsairambulance.org.uk. 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.

Richard, Tory,

George and baby

brother Harry

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

Phil Merritt

Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance @dsairambulance 29

18-29 DSAA_Why we do it.indd 29 09/03/2017 10:22



For more information please call or email us on:

Tel: 01202 590 800 Email: info@bourne2fly.co.uk

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Untitled-1 13 18/03/2014 09:19

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 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:

JUSTGIVING: www.justgiving.com/dsaa-coastbusters

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

Despite being

too scared to

even venture

on a fairground

ride, brave mum

Kerry Webber

decided to take

to the skies to

help DSAA

loved every minute of it and would do it again. Me, not

a chance!

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

take in.

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

several times.

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

Max Hoskins

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

Country Club

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

great work.”

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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ad April 2016 for print.indd 1






Birthday bash

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



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:



JACKPOT £1,000

2nd PRIZE £250

3rd PRIZE £150

4th PRIZE £125

5th PRIZE £100

Plus many other consolation prizes


DRAW winners

£1,000 Mrs K Crew, Weston –Super-Mare

(Ticket 206542)

£250 Mrs D Davison, Huish Episcopi

(Ticket 80091)

£150 Mr A Brown, Weymouth

(Ticket 585849)

£125 Mrs M Liddiard, Bournemouth

(Ticket 638910)

£100 Mr P Woodman, Thorncombe

(Ticket 62038)

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

www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk, Registration

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

Pauline Howart

celebrated her

60th birthday by

jumping 10,000ft

out of a plane

and raised £2,164.

Wow, what a buzz!

Happy birthday


Ben Martin jumped

15,000ft out of a

plane and raised

£100! Eeek!

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

village of Much Marcle, since 1880. Join a mill tour and

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• Cider Shop and FREE Tasting (over 18’s only)

• Scrumpy House Restaurant and Bottle Museum Tea Room

• Located on the A449 between Ledbury and Ross-on-Wye

• Open 7 days a week

Westons Cider, The Bounds, Much Marcle,

Ledbury, Herefordshire, HR8 2NQ

T: 01531 660108

E: enquiries@westons-cider.co.uk



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40_Comp.indd 40 07/03/2017 09:53

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

Forde Abbey

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

45_DSAA_AD_2x1/2.indd 45 06/03/2017 21:54


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.

Standing order

To donate on a regular basis please complete

the Standing Order Form in the centre of this


Credit/Debit card

You can do this over the phone by calling:

01823 669604

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


Payroll giving

Ask your employer if they offer a ‘Give as you

Earn Scheme’, most large employers do

Text giving

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

raise £££s

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

E: info@dsairambulance.org.uk


46 01823 669604 | www.dsairambulance.org.uk

46-47_DSAA_Ways to support us.indd 46 09/03/2017 11:50


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

minimum delay.

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: info@dsairambulance.org.uk or call:

01823 669604.

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


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: info@dsairambulance.org.uk

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

fundraising challenge.

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

48-49_DSAA_Fundraising.indd 48 09/03/2017 11:46

48-49_DSAA_Fundraising.indd 49 09/03/2017 11:47



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

Wall-top wonders

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

you do!

Best wishes, Jim and Pam White

Forever grateful

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

Small world

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

my family.

Timothy Shead

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

#ValentinesDay #14ThingsWeLove


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

this year


@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,

Castle Road,

Chelston Business Park,

Wellington TA21 9JQ,

or email: info@dsairambulance.org.uk

50 01823 669604 | www.dsairambulance.org.uk

50_DSAA_Postbag.indd 50 09/03/2017 11:44

Untitled-3 13 02/09/2013 16:27

Watergate Bay, Cornwall

Untitled-4 13 15/03/2016 19:00

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