Magpas Air Ambulance called 33 times to life-threatening emergencies in central Peterborough inside two months

For Dan Cody, being called out to nine separate serious medical emergencies in Peterborough and the East of England during one shift is nothing out of the ordinary.

Thursday, 9th August 2018, 5:27 pm
Updated Sunday, 2nd September 2018, 2:54 am
Dan Cody and Dr Peter Holden setting up to give enhanced medical care to a critically ill patient
Dan Cody and Dr Peter Holden setting up to give enhanced medical care to a critically ill patient

The 12-hour stint by the critical care paramedic, who started work at 7am, is a reminder of the tireless work put in by the team at Magpas Air Ambulance which is fundraising for a new helicopter for the Peterborough community.

The Peterborough Telegraph has teamed up with Magpas to help it on its journey to raise £1.5 million over the next two years for the new aircraft, which will be able to fly further, faster and allow the lifesaving service to reach an even greater number of patients.

To give an idea of how important Magpas is, the summer heatwave has seen the number of flying hours for the charity rise quicker than the thermometer, reaching a record 3,600 miles (39 hours and 20 minutes) in June. While across June and most of July the Magpas medical team was called out to life-threatening emergencies 33 times in central Peterborough alone.

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Dan Cody and Dr Peter Holden setting up to give enhanced medical care to a critically ill patient

Returning to Dan and his long shift alongside a senior paramedic and doctor, he began by being sent to Peterborough to bring hospital level care to a patient involved in a serious assault, and a patient with severe breathing difficulties.

He was then sent to two cardiac arrest cases in Cambridgeshire, to one patient in cardiac arrest and another who had suffered a serious fall down some stairs in Bedfordshire, as well as to a cardiac arrest in Stevenage, a patient with significant burns in King’s Lynn and to a cardiac arrest patient in Luton.

Dan joined the ambulance service in 1998 and Magpas 11 years ago and has since become the charity’s clinical director. He said: “There are people who would not be alive now, or would not have recovered as well as they have, had we not been there for them, and as our service continues to innovate we can do more and for more people.”

Explaining why the number of call outs is rising, Dan explained: “Basically the demand for healthcare is increasing, and I’m talking about the need for every area of healthcare. People’s lifestyles are also changing and that has a big impact; for example, there are a lot more cars on the roads these days.

Dan outside the current Magpas air ambulance

“Cardiac arrests remain one of the most common incidents we’re called out to, and with the sunny weather comes more sporting, DIY and farming related incidents. Sadly, violent crime is also on the increase.”

The new air ambulance, though, will make a big difference. “With more support, even more lifesaving missions will be achieved,” Dan added.

You can make a donation online at:, or by texting HELI19 to 70070 (you can donate either £1, £2, £3, £4, £5 or £10 and can donate up to £30 a day).