Thames Valley Air Ambulance crews were called out 2,880 times in 2021, the highest number since the charity became an independent healthcare provider in 2018.

There were 640 in Oxfordshire 1,125 in Berkshire, and 1,018 in Buckinghamshire.

Crews delivered critical care to 1,819 patients when they needed it most, attending the most serious incidents across the community.

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Call outs included 922 cardiac arrests, 643 medical emergencies, 493 accidental emergencies and 367 road traffic collisions.

The team saw a surge in activity when lockdown restrictions eased in spring, but the busiest months of the year were actually December and November, with 295 and 276 call outs respectively.

Adam Panter, chief operating officer at Thames Valley Air Ambulance, said: “2021 was an incredibly busy year for our crews. With an average of 240 call outs a month, the team worked tirelessly to keep our community safe, 365 days a year.

Oxford Mail:

“Not only have they dealt with a record-breaking workload, but they have continued to rise to ongoing challenges posed by PPE and adapt to changes brought about by new Covid-19 variants.

“Behind these facts and statistics are the stories of real people, each going through possibly the worst day of their lives.

“Thanks to our supporters, we have been able to be there when it matters most.

“We couldn’t have done it without the generosity of our community, who have kept us going throughout the twists and turns of 2021.”

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One person who is thankful for the service's support is its chaplain Rev Ross Dilnot.

His connection to Thames Valley Air Ambulance begins back in 2016 when he took his new three-wheeled motorbike out on its first run.

Less than 15 minutes later, Ross’s life hung in the balance after he was involved in a catastrophic accident. Along with colleagues from other Emergency Services, Thames Valley Air Ambulance attended the accident and Ross was airlifted in critical condition to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.

He became the service’s chaplain in 2019.

In November, the air ambulance service reached a milestone after treating its 5,000th patient since the charity became an independent healthcare provider in October 2018.

Before 2018, its paramedics were provided by the NHS.

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With both a helicopter and a fleet of critical care response vehicles, stocked with advanced lifesaving drugs and kit, Thames Valley Air Ambulance brings hospital-level care to the roadside.

The charity relies solely on the support of the public. It costs £3,750 to send the helicopter on each mission.

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