The Magpas Air Ambulance team never know where, when or what they’re going to be called to during their shifts with the charity. Magpas Critical Care Paramedic Dan, from Ely, explains what just one of his recent shifts entailed…

“I was working a day shift with Dr Ali; we did our Magpas training together 10 years ago and have had many interesting and challenging shifts together since – and this was about to be one of those! We started at 7am and had had a fairly busy day attending to incidents across Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire. As we were coming to the end of our shift, another emergency call came in at 6:30pm.

There had been a road traffic collision involving multiple vehicles in Lincolnshire, resulting in a large fire and seriously injuring 5 people. It doesn’t matter what time of day it is, or where abouts in the region these patients are, we don’t think twice about what time it is. All we can think about is bringing the best possible care to the patients that need us. We immediately flew to the scene in the Magpas Air Ambulance.

Road traffic collisions require the skills of many different emergency services. At this incident, we worked alongside amazing teams from the Fire and Rescue Service, East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS), first responders and the Police. However, at this particular scene, we had the rare experience of working very closely with the Search and Rescue team that flew to provide support from their airbase in Humberside too.

As the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) on scene, Ali and I are there to bring an extra level of care to the patients. We’re specially trained to provide treatments and perform procedures there and then, that would usually only be available in a hospital A&E department.

In this instance, we had to assess, treat and manage several patients on the roadside. One man in particular had sustained multiple severe injuries and required a sedation to manage them before we could convey all our patients to hospital.

We knew we needed to take the most seriously injured patients to the closest Major Trauma Centre: Hull Royal Infirmary. It would have taken a very long time to drive these patients to Hull so the obvious choice was to transport them by helicopter. Fortunately the Search and Rescue helicopter offered the extraordinary solution of airlifting all three patients in the same aircraft to Hull. So, we loaded them onto the enormous aircraft and travelled the huge distance, along with two brilliant EMAS paramedics to help too, in less than half an hour!

Two other patients from the accident were lucky to sustain less serious injuries and were carefully looked after and taken to closer hospitals via land ambulance by EMAS.

Upon our arrival in the emergency department we left our patients in the care of the team at Hull, then had to get all our equipment cleaned and back in order before jumping in a taxi to take the epic two-and-a-half-hour journey back to the Magpas Air Ambulance operations base. We were shattered; our twelve-and-a-half-hour shift had turned in to an eighteen-and-a-half hour shift, but it was so worth it to know we had made a difference and helped people who were having the worst day of their lives.”

Magpas Air Ambulance is a charity that relies on generous donations to continue to provide hospital level care to patients across the East of England and beyond 24/7. If you can donate, please do so here.