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£3,000 Rotary donation to Air Ambulance

THE Rotary Club of Frome has donated £3,000 to the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance which was handed over at the club’s charity shop in Frome town centre. 

The Air Ambulance is a registered charity and receives no direct government funding, relying on the generosity of the public to cover their £5 million a year running costs. The Rotary donation will cover the cost of one mission. It is through the support of the Frome Community that this donation can made from the proceeds of the shop which is run by volunteers from the three Rotary Clubs in Frome. 

A spokesperson for the Rotary Club of Frome said, “Having had an inspirational talk from the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance, it highlighted the depth of the critical care team that is put in place to provide support to the local community when needed. The people of Frome will have heard and seen the Air Ambulance as it supports the other emergency services with specialist support. The Air Ambulance has had to adapt their operations to be able to continue their incredibly critical work during the Covid epidemic and it is important that we are able to support them.” 

The Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance along with adjacent Air Ambulance services in Cornwall, Devon, Great Western and Wiltshire has a dedicated HEMS (Helicopter Emergency Medical Services) desk located in Ambulance Control monitoring all 999 calls that are made. They identify incidents where a patient would benefit from and air ambulance. The D&S helicopter can reach anywhere in the 2 counties within 20 minutes but if it is on a call, adjacent county helicopters will be called in to an incident. In the last year they have undertaken 1,832 missions including the deployment of their Critical Care car. Over 50% of their missions are for trauma injuries and a quarter are for cardiac patients. 

 Whilst the Air Ambulance team were in Frome they inspected one of the 26 defibrillators provided and maintained by The Friends of Frome Hospital. Rotarian Mike Darville who is also one of 8 defibrillator guardians for Frome explained how the defibrillator team check and maintain the Frome defibrillators every 2 weeks to ensure they are always operational and available should they be required in an emergency. 

Frome Rotary President Ian Buick made the presentation to Debbie Birtwisle, Community Fundraising Officer for the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance along with Ken Hutton, a local volunteer for the Air Ambulance. 

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