Wiltshire Air Ambulance are ready for lift off over Christmas holidays

By Claire Dukes - 21 December 2018

  • Wiltshire Air Ambulance pilot Nicky Smith (right) with paramedics Steve Riddle and Jo Gilbert

    Wiltshire Air Ambulance pilot Nicky Smith (right) with paramedics Steve Riddle and Jo Gilbert

Whilst most of us will be enjoying Christmas Day with family and friends, opening presents and tucking into turkey lunches, Wiltshire Air Ambulance will be on duty to respond to serious medical emergencies.

Thanks to the generous donations Wiltshire Air Ambulance receive from supporters, their lifesaving service operates up to 19 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Pilot Nicky Smith will be on duty on Christmas Day. She said: “My family know that I do a really worthwhile job and we just have our own celebration at some other time and don’t worry that it’s not on the actual day.

“Working on Christmas Day starts with a really easy journey into work as the roads are unbelievably quiet. The Wiltshire Air Ambulance crew are always in a good mood and we do little festive things to acknowledge the day, like wearing Christmas hats and bringing food in to cook together.”

“Wherever we land, the public come out in their Christmas jumpers and with their new presents – mostly children with bikes – and they love to come and say hello and share a bit of Christmas cheer.”

Rich Miller, Wiltshire Air Ambulance’s clinical services and ground operations manager, said: “Working over the Christmas period is normal for our crews. Unfortunately serious injuries and severe illnesses, such as cardiac arrests, strokes and road traffic collisions, can occur at Christmas time and our pilots and paramedics are ready to respond to incidents requiring their specialist skills. 

“It’s thanks to people who donate and fundraise for us that we are able to provide our essential Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) every day, including over Christmas and New Year.”

The charity is not funded directly by the Government and receives no National Lottery grants. Wiltshire Air Ambulance relies on the support of the public, businesses and grant-making trusts to keep their lifesaving service operational. 

If you would like to donate online, visit www.wiltshireairambulance.co.uk

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