Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance recognises the lives saved by Devon Freewheelers efforts by placing the charity logo onto their new helicopter, an AW169 Augusta Westland, crowned at Pegasus.
Three years ago Devon Freewheelers entered into a new venture with the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance NHS Trust by providing a free service to the aircraft delivering whole blood; which can be used to give a blood transfusion to critically injured patients, at the scene of the emergency.
The service was set up by charity founder Daniel Lavery and Specialist Trauma Doctor Ian Mew. Since then, dozens of lives have been saved thanks to the efforts of the charity volunteers, who give their time freely to transport the blood every 48hrs, and the whole service is provided completely free of charge.
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.”
Devon Freewheelers founder and CEO Daniel Lavery said: "The credit for this goes entirely to the volunteers, I was simply involved in the set up and securing the funding to pay for the project. The responsibility at the beginning was then accepted by Maurice 'Mo' Ayling who, along with Area Co-Ordinator Dave Cook, set up the volunteer rotas and replenishment runs which are carried out as soon as the stock is used. To this day, Dave Cook is still looking after the project and it's truly amazing the number of lives given an extra chance of survival by this blood service."
'Mo' has since retired from volunteering and hung up his motorcycle boots and is greatly missed by everyone at Devon Freewheelers and Dave Cook is still hugely involved in all areas of the charity. Affectionately known as "Cookie", he can be seen pretty much out and about on a daily basis promoting the charity, attending talks, fundraising events and riding the bikes, seen here in the middle of the photograph. The rider on the right is Neil Gardner, a volunteer who has been with the charity for nine years and hails from the west area of the county.