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Perth air ambulance has record year in 2021 as Scotland emerges from Covid lockdowns

SCAA
Medics at the SCAA base in Scone.

The air ambulance team at Perth recorded its busiest-ever year in 2021 with demand growing as the country emerged from Covid-19 lockdowns.

Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance (SCAA), based at Scone, was called into action 325 times last year.

Just under one in five of the charity’s calls were to the Tayside region.

SCAA also has a base in Aberdeen and, between both locations, there were 810 call-outs – a 76% rise on 2020, when people largely stayed at home due to coronavirus.

SCAA at a call-out in the Angus Glens.

David Craig, SCAA chief executive, admits the demand last year was higher than anticipated.

He said: “We expected to become increasingly busy as the country returned to some semblance of normality following lockdown, but the demands on our two helicopters and rapid response vehicles have been considerable throughout 2021.

“The fact that three-quarters of our airlifted patients were flown to one of the country’s four major trauma centres shows the high-acuity trauma our crews are dealing with.”

The air ambulance had a record year in 2021.

Incidents last year included airlifting a walker from Fife’s Lomond Hills, going to the aid of a horse rider who had fallen at a Fife farm, and helping a man who had fallen from a ladder in Angus.

The two air ambulances visited 15 different hospitals last year, as far south as Newcastle, while July was the service’s busiest month.

Just over a quarter of incidents were attended by SCAA’s on-ground paramedics, who were called to 219 emergencies in their rapid response vehicles.

‘Speed and level of care has proven life-saving’

Mr Craig added: “Deploying with a specialist doctor-led team on 111 occasions has allowed us to deliver advanced critical care straight to the accident or emergency scene.

SCAA’s speed and level of care have proven to be life-saving and our crews’ impressive work – during another challenging year – has seen us delivering more emergency care than ever before which reflects the demand for our service.

“It’s been a trying year for everyone, but our amazing supporters kept the charity in their hearts throughout, with their ongoing generosity enabling SCAA to take more care, more quickly to more people throughout the whole of Scotland than ever before.”

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