Two South Yorkshire paramedics are flying high after swapping their ambulances for a helicopter.
James Stubley and Paul Holmes, are among seven Yorkshire Ambulance Service paramedics chosen for a two-year secondment with Yorkshire Air Ambulance.
The new recruits completed a three-week training programme that included underwater escape training, mountain and swift water rescue, navigation, air safety and new clinical skills.
James, aged 34, from Dronfield, said: “This is something I’ve always wanted to do.
“Every day you are going to make life-saving decisions and interventions and it is really satisfying knowing we can get people to the appropriate hospital so quickly.”
James, who is also team leader with Edale Mountain Rescue Team, qualified as a paramedic in 2008 and was a clinical supervisor based in Sheffield before joining Yorkshire Air Ambulance.
He added: “Because you are attending life threatening and life changing calls you are learning enhanced clinical skills, but also you are part of the technical air crew which is completely new.”
Paramedic clinical supervisor Paul Holmes, 38, from Wath-upon-Dearne, said joining Yorkshire Air Ambulance has fulfilled a childhood ambition of his.
“I’ve wanted to be an air paramedic ever since watching a TV programme about the air ambulance service as a kid,” said the father-of-one.
“The first day’s training was underwater escape from a helicopter and it’s been an intense learning curve.
“Air safety and time are crucial, so you have to act very much as part of a team - from learning how to navigate from the air to coordinating with the hospital team and sometimes working with doctors.”