DEMAND for the skills of Wiltshire Air Ambulance resulted in increased call-outs in West Wiltshire in 2018.

Total missions undertaken by the county’s air ambulance rose by 26 per cent last year and the charity has revealed how often its critical care team was called out to different parts of Wiltshire.

In West Wiltshire the team was called to the Melksham and Trowbridge areas once a week, on average.

In the Melksham area the number of call-outs was 82, up 53 on 2017, while in the Trowbridge area there were 63 call-outs, up by 24.

There were 37 call-outs to the Warminster area, up by 11, while in Westbury there were 25, up by eight, in Bradford-on-Avon there were 15, up by five, and in Corsham there were 14, up by one.

The largest number of incidents that Wiltshire Air Ambulance responded to were in the Swindon area at 182, the equivalent to a call-out, on average, every two days.

Overall, the total number of missions undertaken in 2018 by Wiltshire Air Ambulance were 1,103, up by 228 on the previous year. The charity’s helicopter flew 494 missions while its paramedics responded to 609 incidents in rapid response cars.

Wiltshire Air Ambulance operates until 3am and more than one in three of its missions last year were undertaken at night.

The largest number of call-outs were to cardiac emergencies, 248 - almost one in four of the total incidents - while 220 - one in five incidents - were to road traffic collisions and one in ten incidents - 109 - involved children. In addition the team were called to 62 sporting accidents with almost half, 28, involving horse riders.

The charity announced last week that its annual costs have risen by 15 per cent to £3.75 million a year. This means it has to raise just over £10,000 a day to keep its lifesaving service operational. It is not funded directly by the Government and receives no National Lottery grants.

David Philpott, chief executive of Wiltshire Air Ambulance, said: “The call-out figures for 2018 show there was an increased demand for our essential lifesaving service. When our helicopter is unable to fly our critical care paramedics are available to respond to medical emergencies in rapid response vehicles. These vehicles have the same specialist medical equipment that is on board our helicopter.

“We are only able to keep saving lives thanks to the generosity of the public and businesses who make donations. If you would like to support us, please get in touch by calling the charity team on 01225 300536 or email”