The county’s air ambulance completed its 10,000th mission last month – and nobody is more thankful to the charity than one person who says he would not be here without it.
Rod Martin, 59, of Ashley, turned into a ‘human torch’ when a barrel exploded at his workplace, leaving him with severe burns and a leg that was almost severed.
That was back in October 2005 and five years on as the Northamptonshire and Warwickshire Air Ambulance reached its landmark mission, Mr Martin appreciates that if he had not been airlifted to a specialist hospital, he may not still be alive.
He said: “I was initially rushed to Kettering General Hospital. I knew there wasn’t much hope for me but the air ambulance gave me a chance.
“I was flown to Selly Oak Hospital in Birmingham which has one of the best burns units in the country. By road it would have taken at least an hour and a half but in the helicopter it took just 12 minutes.
“So I guess that helicopter ride helped me in all sort of ways and really did save and change my life.”
Hospital staff managed to save Mr Martin’s leg, and he has since returned to work.
He also fundraises for the charity, and worked as an ambassador for them.
Residents of Ashley also helped raise £2,000 while he was recovering.
He added: “I didn’t realise how often it went out and how many people it helped.
“It made me think that when I could I would do my bit to help raise awareness and some funds.
“Getting involved with the charity helped me emotionally as it gave me a focus when physically I couldn’t do very much.”
The charity completed its 10,000th mission on Monday, September 5, and also recently celebrated another milestone on Saturday, October 1 – its eighth birthday.