WARWICKSHIRE and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance had a busy year following the introduction of its night car service.
The Coventry Airport-based service responded to 1,333 emergency calls – the most in the past six years.
Of those, 800 were carried out by the helicopter during the day shift while 413 were completed using the service’s new night service – which runs from 4pm to 2am.
Remaining missions were carried out by car when an incident was close by or when bad weather prevented the helicopter flying.
Following a successful trial period, the night car started running seven days a week last May.
The car carries all the lifesaving equipment used on the service’s helicopter – including a defibrillator, cardiac monitor, a ventilator and an automated CPR (cardio pulmonary resuscitation) device.
On-board doctors and critical care paramedics also have access to critical care drugs and equipment usually available only in hospital emergency departments.
Philip Bridle, head of operations, said they were pleased the cars had proved such a success.
He added: “Thanks to the excellent road networks around our area and less traffic to contend with at night, our cars are able to get to accidents and emergencies very quickly – just as our aircraft does during the day.
“This means our critical care paramedics and doctors are available for the most serious incidents at night as well as during the day.”
The charity, which receives no government funding, needs to raise an additional £200,000 per year to keep the service on the road.
Visit www.wndlrairambulance.org.uk/2017 to find out more about the charity.