Melton man thanks air ambulance for lifesaving flight

The crews of the Derbyshire, Leicestershire & Rutland Air Ambulance (DLRAA) and Warwickshire & Northamptonshire Air Ambulance (WNAA) who have flown their 40,000th mission EMN-200623-115607001 Darren Howitt was flown to hospital by the Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance (DLRAA) after being involved in a collision with a tipper truck while out on a training cycle ride. He suffered serious injuries in the incident but things could have been much worse had it not been for the air ambulance support on the day.

Darren visited the DLRAA base at East Midlands Airport to meet the paramedic who was on duty on the day of his accident. He said: "It was amazing to shake his hand and say thank you. "The air ambulance is an amazing charity and there's no doubt that it saved my life."

Darren added: "I wouldn't be alive if I hadn't got to the hospital so quickly. "They couldn't operate on me for 36 hours as I had lost so much blood and I had to be stabilised before surgery." The DLRAA and its sister crew, the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance (WNAA), yesterday (Wednesday) completed their 40,000th mission.

Since 2003, their teams have touched the lives of thousands of individuals and families, with each crew attending an average five missions a day. Within minutes they can be at an incident delivering pre-hospital critical care to patients in order to give them the best chance of survival and recovery. DLRAA carries dedicated critical care paramedics and doctors onboard its aircraft and in its critical care car, who are able to perform out-of-hospital surgical procedures from thoracotomies and caesareans to amputations by the roadside.

Funded by public donations, with each mission costing an average of GBP1,700, the charity says it is incredibly proud to have reached its 40,000th mission. But it needs the continued support from the public to enable it to continue saving lives in Melton Mowbray and beyond. The charity has a longstanding partnership with Sloane Helicopters, which has supported the lifesaving service by providing their aircraft and all auxiliary support services throughout the years.

Sloane helicopters has been chosen again by the charity to provide the next generation of Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) aircraft. Reflecting on the 40,000 missions carried out to date, local air ambulance CEO Andy Williamson said: "This is an incredible milestone for the lifesaving service we provide across our counties and further afield. "You never know when a call will come in for our vital services, but we do know that when it does, our critical care teams are there for everyone 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

"We have reached this 40,000th mission milestone as a charity providing continued support to the NHS which has been vital during these last few months. We have been supported by donations from generous individuals and organisations in the Melton Mowbray community - on behalf of the charity, we thank you all for that. "After the difficult time we have all found ourselves in, and with the new replacement aircraft underway, we desperately need the public's support now more than ever to enable us to continue providing leading pre-hospital emergency care to our patients and to reach that next milestone."

To support the local air ambulance service with a cash pledge or fundraiser, visit www.airambulanceservice.org.uk or call 0300 3045 999.

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