Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance said a lot happened over the last 12 months, from moving to a new headquarters to upgrading the helicopter, but it has not stood still as it flew a record number of missions.
Crews have responded to more than 1,400 missions in 2021, compared with 1,095 in 2020 and 877 in 2019.
Karen Jobling, charity chief executive officer, said: “Just like many other charities, we went into 2021 not knowing what to expect.
“We had projects under way before the first coronavirus lockdown, so had to dig in and keep going on those fronts, keeping in mind they were foundations for the future of the charity.
“This is what has enabled us to reach more patients this year.”
Major developments over the last year included the addition of a second helicopter in the summer, in response to an anticipated surge in visitors to the Lincolnshire coast as lockdown measures eased.
Throughout the year, additional doctors and paramedics have joined the charity, meaning that by September, crews were able to respond day and night using a mix of the helicopter and critical care cars.
The charity teams and crew moved into a new, purpose-built headquarters in the summer, which was officially opened in September by Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex.
The purpose-built home, adjacent to RAF Waddington on the A15 Sleaford Road, near Lincoln, sees staff, crew, the helicopter and critical care cars under one roof for the first time, alongside a new helipad.
Another stride in clinical care came with the introduction of blood plasma.
Blood was already carried on board, but plasma was added because it is the component of blood that helps it to clot – vital to care in trauma incidents anywhere within the 3,500 sq miles, LNAA covers.
Ms Jobling said: “We are so pleased we have been able to be there for more patients in 2021.
“Of course, with each mission costing on average £3,500, it comes at a cost.
“It is only because of the generosity of our supporters that more patients have been helped by a crew with the highest skills and standards in pre-hospital care.