THE county’s air ambulance charity is this week marking 13 years of delivering life-saving treatment to patients across the region in their hour of need.

Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance (HIOWAA) will celebrate the anniversary on Wednesday, July 1, and is hosting an online fundraising quiz to mark the occasion.

Since the charity first began operations back in 2007, the air ambulance has been tasked to more than 9,439 missions across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

When its first Emergency Response Vehicle was introduced in 2017, mission numbers doubled, to that point that two more vehicles needed to be added to the fleet last year.

These vehicles carry the same equipment as the Air Ambulance, such as blood and plasma transfusion kits, defibrillators and monitors that can record ECG’s, blood pressure, oxygen saturation and carbon dioxide levels.

The charity’s Critical Care Teams now respond to an average of six emergencies, both in the air and on the road, every day.

In keeping with their commitment to remain on the cutting edge of pre-hospital emergency care, the use of innovative technology and a successful collaboration with the Maritime Coastguard Agency and the Royal Air Force, HIOWAA has been able to remain operational throughout the current pandemic.

In addition, the Charity’s Specialist Critical Care Paramedics have been utilising their specialist skills in the Emergency Department at University Hospital Southampton, to assist in the front-line battle against Coronavirus.

HIOWAA chief executive, Alex Lochrane says he is immensely proud of the charity’s achievements and has thanked its supporters for their help over the years.

He said: “The Air Ambulance belongs to, and is funded by, our local community and we have never needed their support as much as we do now.

“Without the support, dedication and passion they have shown us for the past 13 years, we simply would not have been able to develop our service to be there for those who need us most.

“From operational milestones to seeing the smiling faces of our wonderful volunteers, I am immensely proud of everything we have achieved.”

He added: “To every single person who has continued flying the HIOWAA flag and supporting us through these difficult times, and for the past 13 years, thank you.”

To celebrate the 13-year landmark, HIOWAA will be hosting a virtual Quiz with the Crew, hosted by one of the charity’s Specialist Critical Care Paramedics.

Supporters can play along live with the crew on the HIOWAA Facebook page on Wednesday, July 1, from 7.15pm.

So far, the charity’s virtual Quiz with the Crew has raised over £3,000 through online donations made during each quiz.

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