Dear Volunteers,

I am absolutely delighted to be asked to write in the newsletter for the incredibly dedicated TVAA volunteers.

It is always an incredibly humbling experience to meet all of you when I am out and about either with my children or when I am priviledged to meet you on visits to the base. Of course there has also been times when I’ve met and said “hello” to TVAA volunteers “on the job”! It is humbling and I constantly illiterate that as crew members we are NOT the heroes of this charity. It amazes me every time how as volunteers you stand and ask for funding from members of the public day in day out through wind, rain, snow and even sunny (occasionally!!) weather. A truly heart felt thank you to you all for keeping us flying and allowing my team to treat the people of this region with the best medical care that can be provided on the roadside.

I hope to make this a regular thing in the newsletter so it seems best I say something about myself as an introduction. I live with my 2 children in Bicester and my other job is as a Consultant in Emergency Medicine at the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford. This allows me to see first hand what effect our unit has on patients as the John Radcliffe is our regional Major Trauma Centre (MTC). Previous to this I was in the British Army for 10 years and was lucky enough to go to various deployments serving with the Airborne Brigade. After my military career I trained as an Emergency Medicine specialist in London at the Royal London Hospital and trained at London’s Air Ambulance. My first consultant post was at the Royal London Hospital before moving to Oxfordshire. I have been lucky enough to work on various Air Ambulance units over the last 15 years.

At the base as always we have been extremely busy – this month has seen us hold another HEMS Crew Course (HCC) – this is the intensive 5 day course that all the new paramedics and doctors about to join the team must complete and pass! Our “blood and plasma” on board clinical ability is constantly being used for the most injured and ill of the patients we see. I hope to expand on this in further issues. We are also the first Air Ambulance in the UK to have technology which allows “live footage” relayed back to consultant etc. from the scene allowing more accurate advice to be given by actually physically seeing the patient/incident – this technology is called “Real Time Visualisation (RTV)”.

We are constantly upgrading or innovating the use of new equipment. One of the main reasons we do this is that as time goes on – kit gets smaller, lighter and better. Weight is extremely important on the aircraft as the lighter we are the more we can fly and less fuel required.

We could not continue to buy and test new equipment without the generous funding of the people that you canvas. I hope to write again in future issues. So thank you for all your contunued efforts.