GREAT Western Air Ambulance Charity (GWAAC) attended a record number of incidents across Gloucestershire in 2018.

The service, which is entirely charity funded, attended to 437 critical incidents in Gloucestershire during 2018, a 45 percent increase on 2017, via helicopter or one of two critical care cars, continuing to provide life-saving medical treatment to patients at the scene of an incident.

The charity provides the critical care and Air Ambulance service to 2.1 million people across the counties of Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol, South Gloucestershire, Gloucestershire, North Somerset and surrounding areas and 2018 was their busiest year to date, attending 1,887 incidents in total.

The team consists of highly skilled critical care doctors and specialist paramedics in critical care, who are able to carry out life-saving interventions from blood transfusions to treating cardiac arrests, at the scene of an incident.

Both the helicopter and the critical care cars carry specialist crew and medical equipment that isn’t carried by land ambulances, meaning their treatment is critical to saving the lives of patients before they can reach a hospital.

Just over 50 per cent of incidents across Gloucestershire were attended to in one of GWAAC’s critical care cars. If an incident happens within a short distance from the air base, it’s quicker and more cost effective to attend in one of the cars, and with the helicopter only able to fly during day light hours, the cars are critical to incidents that happen at night time.

Chief executive Anna Perry said: “As these numbers show, there is increasing demand for our vital service each year. 2018 was a very busy year for GWAAC and our crew. Alongside our day to day operations, we also successfully purchased and moved into our new air base in Almondsbury thanks to everyone’s generous donations and support. This move has not only provided much-needed stability but has enabled our crew to work in a suitable environment, meaning we can continue to provide this life-saving service.”

GWAAC recently moved into a new purpose-built air base in Almondsbury, having launched a campaign to Buy Our Base, raising over £1.3 million pounds to secure the future of the service.

The charity needs to raise over £3 million each year to stay operational, but receive no day to day funding from the Government or National Lottery, relying on the generosity of donors and supporters to keep them running.

If you would like to know more about the Great Western Air Ambulance Charity, visit