The helicopters from Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance flew rescue missions 615 times last year, according to newly-released statistics.
They have now flown more than 9,150 times since the service was launched in March 2000. Of the incidents attended last year, 323 were in Somerset and 279 took place in Dorset, with the outstanding number being on the borders of Avon, Devon, Wiltshire and Hampshire.
The busiest month of the year for the service was August, with 72 call-outs, followed by July with 62 emergencies. The busiest day of the week was a Saturday.
Of the 615 incidents, 280 were of a medical nature, 125 were road-traffic incidents and 108 patients were treated with trauma symptoms. The air ambulance attended 96 sporting or leisure incidents with 47 per cent being equestrian. There were six hospital transfers.
Of the patients flown to hospital, a quarter were taken to Dorset County Hospital in Dorchester, 21 per cent to Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton and 18 per cent to the Royal United Hospital, Bath. Frenchay Hospital in Bristol received 12 per cent of patients, Southampton General Hospital six per cent and Poole General Hospital five per cent. Others were flown to Royal Bournemouth, Royal Devon & Exeter, Salisbury District, Swansea, Weston General and Yeovil Hospitals.
Chief executive Bill Sivewright said: “Every one of the missions we fly is the result of somebody suffering a potentially life-threatening injury or accident. We have helped to save countless lives over the years because we can reach any part of the two counties in 19 minutes and we know that patients who receive treatment within the first hour have a much better chance of survival. The funds raised by the people of Dorset and Somerset have been vital and we are grateful to them.”
The helicopters from Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance has flown more than 9,000 missions since being launched in March 2000