The crew of the Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance flew almost 1,000 missions last year.
The highly skilled team of doctors, paramedics and pilots have been on call over the Christmas period.
Chief executive of the air ambulance charity, Karen Jobling, said last week: “So far this year, we have undertaken 988 missions, 41 per cent of these being serious road traffic collisions.”
They also attend many cardiac arrests, sporting injuries, agricultural and farming incidents and falls.
The charity is gearing up for the imminent arrival of its new helicopter – the AgustaWestland 169.
Mrs Jobling said: “It is bigger than our current aircraft – enabling the crew to have 360-degree access to the patient in flight; it will be faster – able to reach the far corners of our two counties in under 20 minutes; and has greater endurance, enabling us to fly from job to job without refuelling as often.”
It costs over £2.1million a year in donations to keep it flying. The charity is also investing in the latest technologies. Mrs Jobling explained: “We recently introduced a top of the range, portable ultrasound. On its very first outing, our crew was able to use it to successfully detect a very weak heart beat in a patient.
“This patient’s heartbeat was so feint that it would not have been detected by conventional means.”
This boosted the patient’s chances of survival and recovery.
On average the air ambulance carries out between two and three missions a day. Each mission costs the charity approximately £2,100.
Since its flying operations began in 1994, the crew has been called upon for more than 17,200 missions.
l For more information on the Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance or to make a donation, visit www.ambucopter.org.uk