Air ambulance charity in the running for hat-trick of prestigious awards

PUBLISHED: 09:58 24 September 2018 | UPDATED: 09:58 24 September 2018

Pilot Dave Kelly. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Pilot Dave Kelly. Picture: CONTRIBUTED


Essex and Herts Air Ambulance (EHAAT) has been shortlisted in three categories in the forthcoming Association of Air Ambulance Awards of Excellence.

Helicopter pilot Dave Kelly of EHAAT is shortlisted for the Pilot of the Year award.

The charity’s `Keep in Touch’ campaign, to prepare for the introduction of GDPR, is shortlisted in the Campaign of the Year and EHAAT features twice in the shortlist for Innovation of the Year – once for its Student Resilience Programme and once for the McQueen Charter.

Dave Kelly joined EHAAT as a co-pilot in 2016. As well as being a skilled pilot, Dave is always looking for opportunities to assist his clinical colleagues and achieve the best possible outcome for the patient. His quick thinking, problem solving and communication skills make him a valued member of the team.

“I’m not sure how I feel about this,” Dave said. “A little bit overwhelmed if I’m honest. I love my job and I love working for EHAAT. I’m really touched that I’ve been put forward for this award and been shortlisted.”

Commenting on the Student Resilience Programme, clinical manager Laurie Phillipson said: “Our high-performing teams are constantly exposed to serious life and limb threatening injuries and illness and we feel an obligation to help prepare the pre-hospital critical care clinicians of the future for such cases.

“We want to ensure that our student observers feel fully supported and have a positive experience on placement with us so that they have the resilience and skills to tackle critical incidents in the busy careers ahead of them.”

The McQueen Charter was developed jointly by EHAAT, East Anglian Air Ambulance, and Magpas Air Ambulance in order to address the mental wellbeing of staff. It encourages air ambulances to look as broadly as possible at both the mental health challenges that staff face every day and how these can be addressed.

Caroline Beresford, head of HR at EHAAT said: “It was developed in response to concerns raised by the death of Dr Carl McQueen, a helicopter emergency medical service doctor who took his own life in 2016.

“A tragic event in the air ambulance community became the inspiration for an innovative piece of work which will have a positive impact of our clinical staff as they carry out their life-saving work.”

The winners will be revealed at the awards ceremony to be held on November 12 at the Millennium Chelsea Harbour Hotel, London.


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