On this week’s Emergency Helicopter Medics, viewers met one of our latest recruits – paramedic Hannah. We caught up with Hannah about her life as a paramedic at Thames Valley Air Ambulance.
When did you join Thames Valley Air Ambulance?
I joined Thames Valley Air Ambulance in August 2018 with ten other paramedics. The charity was going through a huge change becoming an independent healthcare provider. This meant they could recruit more paramedics to provide more emergency care to the community. So I applied and got the job!
What made you want to work for Thames Valley Air Ambulance?
I had always wanted to join a Helicopter Emergency Medicine team (HEMs) because I had worked with HEMS teams whilst treating patients when I worked on a traditional land ambulance. I loved how they worked as a team and how they could deliver hospital standard care at the scene of the incident in the community.
What did you do before you started working for Thames Valley Air Ambulance?
In 2011 I started out as an Emergency Care Assistant and in 2015 I officially registered as a paramedic. Before joining Thames Valley Air Ambulance I worked for Hazardous Area Response Team (HART). The HART team are a group of paramedics who are trained to go into the ‘hot zone’ of incidents to begin emergency treatment, such as in contaminated areas, confined spaces or in water.
What was your first flight in Thames Valley Air Ambulance’s helicopter like?
I had never been in a helicopter prior to joining Thames Valley Air Ambulance and I had no idea how I’d feel about it. I was so nervous, I had a vomit bag secretly stashed in the leg pocket of my flight suit just in case I needed it! Once we got off the ground I felt much more at ease and I was able to enjoy the amazing views of the Thames Valley. I’m pleased to say I’m yet to need the vomit bag!
What do you do when you’re not on shift helping patients?
Outside of work I do a lot of sport and outdoor activities. I enjoy running – from 5km to ultra-marathons. I’m now in training again for the London marathon and hoping for a personal best!