IT’S been a record breaking year for Devon Air Ambulance, new statistics have revealed. 

Mission figures for 2023 show a record number of journeys and patients. 

Through what was a challenging year for charities and public services, the crew at Devon Air Ambulance were tasked to attend 2,226 incidents across Devon and helping across the borders with Cornwall, Somerset and Dorset. 

 Of those 2,226 missions, 1,040 were to help patients with medical emergencies, those suffering with a medical condition, and 1,176 were trauma-related incidents such as accidents and injuries caused by slips, trips, falls, burns and road traffic collisions.

Nigel Hare, Operations Director for Devon Air Ambulance, said: ‘Yet again, the number of incidents Devon Air Ambulance responded to and the number of patients we treated has broken all previous records. 2023 saw us deploy to incidents a staggering 2,226 times, 1,333 by helicopter and 814 by Critical Care Car. 

‘Sometimes we respond by both helicopter and car to the same incident to enable us to reach a patient quickly so we can start delivering time-critical care in the shortest time possible, whilst still having the ability to fly the patient quickly by helicopter to the hospital best suited to treat their specific injuries or life-threatening medical condition. 

‘The number of times we deployed one of our helicopters or Critical Care Cars increased by 18 per cent compared to 2022, with the number of patients we treated increasing by over 12 per cent to 1,345. 

‘People often comment that they thought Devon Air Ambulance only responded to patients suffering traumatic injuries or to places inaccessible by road. ‘However, just under 50 per cent of the patients we responded to last year were suffering from a life-threatening medical emergency, such as a heart attack, severe asthma attack or a cardiac arrest; demonstrating just how frequently we respond to patients who are in their own home, place of work or just out and about undertaking day to day activities. 

‘With just under 12 per cent of the patients we treated last year being children, and 27 per cent over 70 years of age, Devon Air Ambulance truly seeks to be there for everyone in our community who is suffering from a life-threatening medical condition or traumatic injuries.’ 

In 2023, Devon Air Ambulance crews assisted 833 male and 507 female patients and 159 children, aged 17 and under.

Crews were sent to many patients taking part in their favourite sports and leisure activities, with equestrian related incidents, 39, being the highest.  

Of the total,  399 missions were in the hours of darkness where many of the Community Landing Sites were used to enable the aircraft to land safely. There are now 199 Community Landing sites in the county. 


Road traffic collisions continue to remain high on the annual incident report and 2023 saw the crews respond to 307 accidents on Devon’s roads. 

Charlotte Leventis, head of marketing and communications at Devon Air Ambulance said: ‘This year we will continue to collaborate with other agencies, to raise awareness of some of the dangers of our road network.’

In 2024, the charity is dedicated to continuing its focus on Cardiac Arrest as this is still the number one medical emergency that they are called to. In 2023 they were tasked to 395 patients suffering a cardiac arrest, an increase from 360 in 2022 and 315 in 2021. 

Through the Help with All Your Heart CPR and defibrillator training sessions, the organisation is continuing educating and raising awareness within local communities. 

Receiving no government funding, Devon Air Ambulance runs entirely on donations.