From one front line to another - former Sheffield Royal Air Force driver is now saving lives with the NHS

Sally Wild was on full time alert when she was in the Royal Air Force, now she is again on the front line for the NHS.

Thursday, 14th May 2020, 8:12 am
Updated Thursday, 14th May 2020, 8:12 am

She was an academically and musically talented pupil but, by her own admission, had a rebellious streak which meant she didn't achieve the grades she wanted.

She left KIng Edwards secondary school in 1989 and after briefly working as a shop assistant, joined a youth training scheme with the Royal Air Force.

After basic training in Wales, Sally was posted to RAF Waddinginton which is a large base just outside Lincoln.

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Sally Hill at Work

She soon settled into her job as a Mechanical Transport Driver and gained a range of licences in that role.

After three years of hard work at Waddington, Sally was rewarded with a posting overseas to RAF Bruggen, a front line base in Germany.

Sally served in Germany for three years with a four month interim posting to the Falkland Isles.

She was then posted to RAF Kinloss, a base in Northern Scotland but she didn't enjoy the slower pace or isolation and wanted to leave.

Sally and Ronnie

"I realised that driving was all I could do but didn't want to do," she said.

"I'd got all these licenses including an LGV license. I was 25,and all I could do was drive and that's why I came out."

After a year in Scotland Sally decided to serve notice on her RAF career and returned to Sheffield in 1996.

She tried various jobs including working in an office, being a bus driver and a postwoman, before deciding to follow her mum Barbara Hill, a nurse, into the NHS.

Sally In Germany

Sally started as a theatre support worker and then undertook a nursing degree.

Since graduating in 2001.Sally has worked in many areas of the NHS such as cardio thoracic and intensive care as a sard Sister. She now works at Dovercourt Practice as an Advanced Practitioner.

Sally, now 47, really enjoys her role in the NHS and says some of the disciples and skills she gained in the RAF have been useful such as team work, responsibility, timekeeping ,and general hard work.

"I've got that camaraderie back and team work which I'd so missed from the Air Force. Even in times not like this,with no pandemic, you've got to work as a team and come together - you've got to have each other's backs."

Sally Wild at work

Sally's daughter Charlie, 17, wants to continue the family tradition and be a nurse. She and Sally's partner Glen are naturally concerned about her going to work at the minute but they are also very proud.

"I think everyone is so overwhelmed with the Clapping for Carers - people are appreciating us," Sally said. "It's a bit surreal, it's like a dream - are we going to wake up and it be back to normal? You can't quite believe it. As it goes on you think, people are really appreciating what we're doing."

And so for the last 20 years Sally has continued to serve but in a different uniform.

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