CORNWALL Air Ambulance has experienced its busiest May on record after being tasked to 117 missions last month.

Figures from the charity show that is a rise in taskings of almost 20 per cent compared to May in 2023.

Air operations officer Steve Garvey said: “May was our busiest month of the year so far, our missions included a range of trauma and medical related incidents including 26 cardiac arrests, 11 road traffic collisions, three inter-hospital transfers and 10 taskings to the Isles of Scilly alone.

“A rise in emergency calls means a growing pressure on our aircrew, with more back-to-back missions, as well as higher demand on our aircraft.”

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It comes as the charity’s Heli2 Appeal passes the £1-million mark, as it aims to secure a second AW169 helicopter for the people of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly by the end of the year.

Owning an additional high-specification aircraft, which benefits from high weight and fuel capacities, a large amount of space for kit and crew, and the ability for HEMS operations at night, will mean that the crew are always able to respond on the best suited helicopter when online and attend more missions by air.

Karen Hurn, head of fundraising and philanthropy, added: “This is a fantastic milestone to reach halfway through the year and we are incredibly grateful to everyone who has donated so far.

“There is still a long way to go to hit our £2.85-million target and there are so many different ways that you can get involved, from becoming a Heli2 Hero and having your name featured on the second helicopter, to playing our BIG Heli2 Raffle or even funding a mission. By supporting the Heli2 Appeal, in whatever way you choose, you really can make a lifesaving difference.”

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There is still a long way to go to reach the £2.85-million Heli2 target with less than six months left of the appeal year.

Tim Bunting, the chief executive, said: “Cornwall Air Ambulance is your charity, we’re here for you if you should ever need us.

“And you can help us be there for more people across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly for years to come.

“Purchasing a second AW169 helicopter will massively improve the versatility and capability of our service, putting us at the forefront of advanced critical care. Your support will help us to save even more lives.”

Cornwall Air Ambulance Trust fundraises to operate the helicopter emergency medical service. Every year the crew attend over 1,000 missions. Specialist paramedics are operational 19 hours a day, 365 days a year, with a AW169 helicopter and two rapid response vehicles.

For more information about how to support the #HELi2 appeal visit