YAA: The Pride of Yorkshire

Yorkshire Air Ambulance is a charity very close to our hearts here at TOG24. Not only are they local to us, but we’ve worked together since 2018. Yorkshire Air Ambulance provides a quick and excellent service, all across God’s own county, to anyone in need of rapid medical service. This charity makes cycling trips, hikes and dog walks much safer, wherever in Yorkshire you may be. For the last two years, TOG24 has been donating clothing for YAA to sell at their stalls and on their online shop. This has helped Yorkshire Air Ambulance to raise life-saving funds of over £50,000 and continue flying across the region.

We interviewed Kate Collison, the charity’s Corporate and Partnerships manager, to find out more about their work, how the current situation has impacted them and how you can help to support the Yorkshire Air Ambulance in these testing times.

Who are the YAA, and what work do you do throughout Yorkshire?

The Yorkshire Air Ambulance is an independent charity providing a lifesaving rapid response emergency service to 5 million people across the whole of Yorkshire. The service is operational seven days a week, 365 days a year. The Charity currently attend an average of 4 incidents every single day. Last year (2019) we attended 1,523 incidents and carried 335 of those to hospital for emergency treatment.

How has the coronavirus affected the organisation?

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Yorkshire Air Ambulance has seen a huge downturn in fundraising incomes and activities and a calendar packed with summer events has been virtually wiped out, leaving us with an estimated loss of income of approximately £420,000 over the summer months. For a temporary period, the Charity along with Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust (where our Paramedics and Doctors are seconded from) made the difficult decision to redeploy our critical care staff back to their frontline duties to help the newly established Nightingale facility in Harrogate. However, due to hospitals being able to manage the surge in Coronavirus within their own intensive care capacity, at the end of April we were able to resume operational duties on one of our helicopters as our crews were released from their secondment and returned to their usual duties.

Have you been called out recently and if so for what type of thing?

The Yorkshire Air Ambulance attend on average four incidents a day across the region and most common incident types are road traffic collisions, cardiac arrests and falls, often in remote areas such as the Yorkshire Dales. Many of the incidents we attend fluctuate with the seasons – in the warmer weather we’re called out to a lot more to motorcycle incidents and rambling injuries, whereas when it’s cooler we often see a lot more road traffic collisions and medical incidents.

What is your advice to anyone going out into the countryside for a walk or bike ride right now? What can they do to protect themselves and others from the virus and having to call you out?

Our main advice to anyone currently undertaking their daily exercise is to try and stay close to your home if you can.  Try not to take your car to go further afield if you can avoid it.   If your exercise does take you into the countryside for a walk or bike ride, please wear the correct protective clothing (such as a helmet when cycling), make sure you stay thoroughly hydrated, be aware of your surroundings, be sensible and use common sense.   Refrain from cycling down steep hills too fast or walking near any ledges, and maintain a two metre distance from others whilst enjoying the fresh air.
If you are exercising in a remote area, we would also recommend downloading the What3Words app, which enables emergency services to pinpoint your location within a three metre square radius if you are lost or involved in an accident.

How can our readers support the YAA?

As an independent charity, the Yorkshire Air Ambulance relies heavily on donations to keep us to flying across the region and we are eternally grateful for all the support we receive. You can support the Yorkshire Air Ambulance safely and securely by making a donation online at www.yaa.org.uk , shopping on our online store, following us and sharing our important charity updates and attending our events when we’re back up and running.

To make any donations to the Yorkshire Air Ambulance, or find out more about the charity, please visit www.yaa.org.uk.

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