Chief Executive and Founder of the Devon Freewheelers, Daniel Lavery, answered the call for the service after being approached by Dorset County Hospital Clinical Director of major trauma Dr. Ian Mew, who wanted the lifesaving blood onboard the aircraft. Daniel says ‘This project has been a real pleasure for me and the team. We know that lives have been saved in Dorset and it’s a real sense of satisfaction for our volunteers who provide this service to know they’ve played a part in that process.’ So far a minimum of 23 people have received lifesaving blood transfusions at the road side this year alone.
The service is being run by volunteers from the East Devon HQ in Honiton. Daniel Lavery says “We’d love to recruit new volunteers in Dorchester to join the charity to help us with fundraising and operating this service.” The Devon Freewheelers receive no government funding from any source for the services they provide.
Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance Medical Lead, Dr. Phil Hyde said: “The Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance (DSAA) Critical Care Team give blood products to approximately 30 severely injured patients per year. The chance of life that these products provide is enabled by the incredible support of Devon Freewheelers. Since the summer of 2016, the Devon Freewheelers have ensured that blood products are regularly and reliably delivered to the DSAA Clinical Team. Their voluntary work is inspiring and life changing and they form an essential link in the chain of survival for the most injured adults and children in the South West.”