Coincidentally, the trust will also be celebrating its 20th birthday on Saturday following the iconic milestone.

THE Devon Air Ambulance undertook its 5,000th mission ahead of the trust’s 20th birthday on Saturday.

Paramedics at Eaglescott Airbase were called to the rescue of a 51-year-old man in Northam suffering chest pains on Sunday and took him to the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital.

The rescue was one of nine undertaken by Devon’s two air ambulances that day and proved to be the iconic 5,000th milestone.

In total, the Air Ambulances of the South West have taken part in almost 18,000 missions in total to date.

The Devon Air Ambulance Trust began life in 1992 with just one helicopter operating from Exeter when funds were available.

In 2005, the North Devon-based helicopter joined the team on a six-month trial bases and was available to fly five days a week.

In just two weeks the service proved justifiable and in 2007 flying time was extended to seven days a week and the aircraft moved to Eaglescott air base.

A spokesman for the trust said: “Jobs for the crews of Devon Air Ambulance Trust vary from call to call and they never know what each day will bring.

“In the last week alone, they have been called to assist a newborn baby with breathing difficulties, a young adult suffering symptoms of meningitis, road traffic collisions and a 92 year old with a heart condition.

“Add to this the tractor that had rolled over a cliff top, a cyclist who was found lying in a road and a child with burns needing an airlift to Bristol and the diversity of the jobs they attend is clear to see.”

On Saturday the trust will be holding a birthday party at Darts Farm in Topsham to celebrate its 20 years of service and is inviting all supporters along from 11.30am.