Our Impact in 2023 (part 2) - Great Western Air Ambulance Charity
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Our Impact in 2023 (part 2)

March 13, 2024
GWAAC crew on their way to the scene of an accident
Our Impact in 2023
March 8, 2024
GWAAC Crew on their way back to the aircraft after attending an incident
With your support
April 16, 2024
GWAAC crew on their way to the scene of an accident
Our Impact in 2023
March 8, 2024
GWAAC Crew on their way back to the aircraft after attending an incident
With your support
April 16, 2024

New leadership and new recruits

We were recognised for our achievements

The King’s Ambulance Service Medal

Advanced Clinical Practitioner in Critical Care, Vicki Brown, received this award in the New Year Honours for distinguished service marked by exceptional ability, merit and conduct.

“Vicki has dedicated her career to advancing paramedic practice and delivering improved pre-hospital patient care. She remains an example to all, acting as a superb role model and inspirational frontline clinical leader.”

Phil Cowburn MBE, Critical Care Doctor

We upskilled ambulance crews through our Clinical Outreach Programme

Four Specialist Paramedics in Critical Care provided training to ambulance crews working in the GWAAC operational area. They delivered four workshops upskilling paramedics and giving them essential skills around critical care.

The project aims to improve care for the patient before our Critical Care Team arrive and achieve earlier and more accurate requests for assistance from our crew. These improvements lead to shorter on-scene times, reducing time to hospital, all of which contribute to better patient outcomes.

Across the four sessions undertaken, around 80 participants were taught theory and participated in simulations which included dealing with traumatic cardiac arrest, penetrating torso injuries, fracture management and paediatric resuscitation, using the Major Trauma and Resus Advice line and preparing for Pre-Hospital Emergency Anaesthesia.

“It’s nice to be in an environment and work on simulations where we can ask questions of the Critical Care Team. I now have a better idea of what they bring to the table.”

Zara Macleod, 3rd year UWE student paramedic


Multi Agency Training

In May, GWAAC and Avon Fire & Rescue Service hosted a multi-agency training day at Avonmouth Docks with more than 40 attendees. GWAAC crew members, firefighters, student paramedics from the University of the West of England and paramedics from South Western Ambulance Service’s Hazardous Area Response Team took part in three simulations. Each simulation presented an initial critical problem and ongoing changing circumstances that they worked through and learnt from. The day helped build relationships, prepare for real-life scenarios and develop the paramedics of the future.


“It’s been good seeing how the different services take leadership of different aspects of the simulations. It’s important to know how we all work so we can come together in real-life incidents.”

Callum, Firefighter, White Watch, Avon Fire & Rescue Service

Sharing knowledge with student paramedics

In June, four crew members including Advanced Practitioner, Vicki Brown, joined the University of the West of England for its Distinguished Address Series. Vicki addressed an audience of around 100 student paramedics and GWAAC supporters, sharing her journey into paramedicine and how she is pushing boundaries within the profession. A Q&A session chaired by GWAAC Doctor, Professor Jonathan Benger CBE, gave attendees a chance to ask the crew questions about how to pursue a career in paramedicine in Helicopter Emergency Medical Services.

In October, we joined a multi-year nationwide clinical study alongside nine other air ambulance charities, to look at whether giving whole blood to a major trauma patient improves their chances of survival compared to the current method of using separate blood products (red blood cells and plasma).

Carrying separate blood products means storing them in different treatment bags, keeping them at a certain temperature and administering them separately. This can add time and complexity as well as significant weight to the equipment the crew needs to carry.

Our exposure to a large number of people who experience severe traumatic injuries provided an opportunity to assess the benefits of the new whole blood product.

In April, our new bespoke kit bags were put into use. They were custom-made to contain a series of pouches with everything required for a task in one place and in likely order of necessity. They made an immediate difference to our efficiency at the scene of an incident and restocking in between jobs.

We introduced five sets of kit bags: one for each of our three critical care cars, one for the helicopter and one for training purposes.

“The new bags are speeding up processes, especially setting up kit for Pre-Hospital Emergency Anaesthesia (PHEA); they are helping to improve the care we provide to people in our communities in urgent need of our help.”

Vicki Brown, Advanced Clinical Practitioner in Critical Care

  • Comedian Abi Carter-Simpson laughs heartily while holding her ukelele at Heli Laughs 2023 at The Old Vic Bristol
  • Two runners in GWAAC branded vests running the Bath Half Marathon
  • Woman in GWAAC flight suit and helmet running towards the finish line of the Great Bristol Run
  • Waving Abseiler at Ashton Gate Graphic
  • A man and a lady in GWAAC running vests negotiating a mud slide and mudbath at the Mud Master event

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