Wiltshire Air Ambulance is a vital life saving service in the county, and it has shared just how busy it has been this year so far.

The charitable organisation has released its latest figures for February, revealing that it was called out to 97 missions, which is just under 3.5 a day.

Of the missions attended across Wiltshire, Bath and surrounding areas, 55 were in the Bell 429 helicopter and 42 were in the service's two critical care cars.

A spokesperson for Wiltshire Air Ambulance said: "Of the 97 missions our aircrew attended, 26 were cardiac emergencies, 16 falls and 11 incidents involved children."

Swindon had the distinction of being the most visited place for the Wiltshire Air Ambulance with 17 callouts to the town in February. Bath was second with 12 and there were eight callouts to Chippenham.

33 of these missions were also at night, meaning pilots had to deploy specialised night vision goggles.

The same number of missions also had a pre-hospital doctor on board. This is someone who can help the team make advanced decisions on scene and administer alternative medications that critical care paramedics are unable to deliver.

The spokesperson added: "The crew are often called upon to perform surgical procedures, deliver blood transfusions and administer pre-hospital emergency anaesthesia at the scene of an incident.

During February, five patients needed pre-hospital emergency anaesthesia, which is a vital yet high-risk intervention. It is used to gain rapid control of a patient’s physiology following serious traumatic or medical incidents.

"There were two patients who required blood transfusions on scene before being transferred to hospital. We carry two units of O Negative red blood cells, two units of O Positive red blood cells and four units of plasma on board our helicopter and critical care cars.

"Our aircrew supported 13 patients with advanced airway management, and on 11 occasions the team used the LUCAS machine to deliver CPR."

The organisation began operating in 1990 and the helicopter and crew have saved countless lives since then.

The charity shared a helicopter with Wiltshire Police for 24 years, but began operating as a stand-alone air ambulance from 2015 using a Bell 429 helicopter.

It costs £4.5 million a year to keep the lifesaving service operational, which equates to more than £12,000 per day.

The charity receives no regular direct funding from the Government or National Lottery grants, so relies on the generous donations from the public and local businesses to raise the vital funds needed.