LIFE-SAVING air ambulance staff had their busiest ever year, attending more incidents in 2018 than ever before.
Last year, Essex and Herts Air Ambulance visited 1,491 patients, an increase of two per cent on 2017.
In just two years, the number of patients treated by staff has risen from 1,077 – an increase of 38 per cent.
The charity’s vehicles were dispatched on a total of 2,241 occasions in 2018, with 1,416 of there being emergencies in Essex.
A majority of the call outs, or approximately 39 per cent, were for patients experiencing medical incidents.
Road traffic collisions accounted for 24 per cent of calls, whilst 15 per cent were for accidental injuries.
The remaining 22 per cent included a mix of cases including assaults as well as sports and leisure related accidents.
Saturday was found to be the busiest day of the week, with more than 300 missions taking place in total throughout 2018.
There were more than 200 missions each in May, June and July, making the three summer months the busiest of the year.
Stuart Elms, clinical director at Essex and Herts Air Ambulance, said: “The need for the charity’s life-saving service is as strong now as it was twenty years ago when our first helicopter, covering just Essex, took to the air with two paramedics in 1998.
“We now operate critical care teams consisting of a pre-hospital care doctor and critical care paramedic and have two state-of-the-art helicopters covering the counties of Essex and Hertfordshire.
“They are backed up by rapid response vehicles after sunset and in poor weather.”
Essex and Herts Air Ambulance receives no government funding and relies entirely on donations to serve the county.
Mr Elms added: “With the help of our supporters across Essex and Hertfordshire we will continue to develop our service to give the best critical care we can to the critically ill and seriously injured patients that we attend.”