On average nearly 60% of the missions are in response to medical sickness and the remainder are due to severe traumatic injuries, most frequently following accidents such as falls and road traffic collisions.
No day is the same. One in four missions are for patients suffering cardiac arrest while one in ten are to help children. On average the helicopter takes just 12 minutes to reach incidents on mainland Cornwall and just under half an hour to reach the Isles of Scilly.
Given the county’s isolated beaches, rural settlements and challenging road networks, Cornwall Air Ambulance is considered a lifeline by residents and visitors alike.
The helicopters and crew can fly in the hours of darkness. They use Night Vision Imaging System (NVIS) goggles, specially adapted cockpits, a 30-million candle power searchlight and advanced mapping systems.
This equipment enables the crew to be on call for 12 hours per day, 365 days a year whereas without they could only fly for eight hours a day. This means that Cornwall Air Ambulance can now attend more than 50 extra missions a year.
For some patients, those are the missions that count.
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