Sony’s award-winning photographer Terry Donnelly went behind the scenes with Wiltshire Air Ambulance, joining them on many of their 2020 missions, to depict the real-life trials and tribulations of air ambulance critical care medics working on the front line through a pandemic.
The emergency medical service operator notes that during 2020, Wiltshire Air Ambulance was called to 1,238 incidents in total (a record number for the charity), as pilots and paramedics responded up to 19 hours a day to life-threatening emergencies across Wiltshire, Bath and surrounding areas. At the same time, the charity’s income saw a loss of £500,000 due to cancelled celebrations and community fundraising events in their 30th birthday year.
Sheer determination and devotion to saving lives
Donnelly, who had worked with Wiltshire Air Ambulance previously, having done a separate photography project with them in 2019, said that it was really interesting to see first hand how much life has changed for the aircrew since Covid-19 hit. “I have witnessed the sheer determination and devotion the crew at Wiltshire Air Ambulance have to give critical care to their patients and to help save lives.
“They had to make changes to their helicopter and wear hot and uncomfortable personal protective equipment just to carry out their work. Their job role is multi-skilled and extremely demanding, and the way they have adapted and coped with the additional pressures whilst working on the front line during a pandemic has been nothing short of valiant over the last 12 months.”
Critical care paramedic Paul Rock – pictured in the gallery above in a full hazmat suit to attend an incident – said: “We’ve had to alter our operations significantly in the past year and it hasn’t been easy, but I’m extremely proud of how we’ve all pulled together as a team to ensure our service hasn’t been affected.”
Elsewhere in the UK, Lincs and Notts Air Ambulance has taken possession of its new Headquarters based on A15 Sleaford Road, in Lincoln. It expects all staff members will be in the new offices once government restrictions have been lifted at the end of June.