Dorset & Somerset Air Ambulance

Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance is a registered charity, established to provide relief from sickness and injury for the people of Dorset and Somerset, by the provision of an air ambulance. We receive no direct funding from the Government or the National Lottery and rely on the generosity of the public for support.

Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance's operational costs are over £2.5 million a year and the approximate cost per mission is £3,000.

Since launching in 2000 Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance have flown more than 12,000 missions. Tasked as part of the normal ‘999’ emergency process by a dedicated Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) desk located at Ambulance Control (paid for by the South West Air Ambulance Charities) Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance can attend up to eight or nine incidents in a single day.

The charities’ airbase is situated at Henstridge Airfield on the Dorset/Somerset border. From there, the helicopter can be at any point in the two counties in less than 20 minutes. More importantly, the helicopter can, if required, then take a patient to the nearest Major Trauma Centre in the South West within a further 20 minutes.

Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance operate 19 hours a day (7.00am – 2.00am) using two vital resources, which include a AW169 helicopter and Critical Care Car.

Clinical Capability

Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance’s clinicians include a mixture of Senior Emergency Physicians, Intensive Care Consultants and Anaesthetists, Specialist Paramedics (Critical Care) and a small number of Paramedics and a Nurse who are working towards the ‘specialist’ qualification. All form part of the air operations crew and, as part of their role, assist the pilot with navigation and operation of some of the aircraft systems.

The charity aim to provide a Critical Care Team, consisting of at least a Doctor and Specialist Paramedic, for each mission. The doctors are drawn from NHS Hospital Trusts across the region and the paramedics are from the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT).

Pilots are provided by Specialist Aviation Services Ltd, who operate the aircraft. They are carefully selected because air ambulance flights are typically more challenging than regular non-emergency flight services. They will have a great deal of experience in low-level operations and instrument flying.

Code of Conduct

Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance is committed to maintaining the highest standards of fundraising behaviour and adhere to the standards set by the Fundraising Regulator. The are also a member of the Association of Air Ambulances (AAA).

Dorset & Somerset Air Ambulance
Dorset & Somerset Air Ambulance
Dorset & Somerset Air Ambulance
Dorset & Somerset Air Ambulance
Dorset & Somerset Air Ambulance

Don't just take our word for it

Through our ongoing relationship with BIU, Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance has been able to raise significant funds via textile recycling throughout the two counties.  These funds have enabled the charity to continue providing a helicopter emergency medical service for the people of Dorset and Somerset and to be able to furnish our aircraft and crew with up to the minute training and equipment.

Dorset & Somerset Air Ambulance