Big Give - Great Western Air Ambulance Charity

You made a big difference this Christmas

Our crew of Critical Care Doctors and Specialist Paramedics do more than get to a patient fast. When somebody is so critically injured that they don’t have time to get to hospital for lifesaving surgery, our crew can perform it on scene. They usually have less than one minute to carry out an operation. It’s intense, it’s critical, and it saves lives.

“At that moment when it was most critical that I got it right, I could fall back on my training. From there, it became easy.”

“When we don’t have the time to get our patient to hospital for the emergency surgery that could save their life, we have to do it there at the roadside. I need to know how to perform surgery that I would usually only do in an operating theatre. And I have to have the confidence in my ability to make a difference to the person - who at that moment, has put all their faith in me.”

Critical Care Doctor Tim Godfrey knows first-hand the difference surgical skills training can make. He performed a surgical airway on a patient in urgent need during COVID -19.

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How your support helped

To ensure our crew retain these lifesaving skills, it’s essential that they practice regularly. That’s where gifts through the Big Give Challenge helped. By helping to raise over £16,000 your support means our crew members continue to maintain their high level of expertise through essential training courses.

Thank you.

How it worked

The first £7,500 of donations made through the Big Give Christmas Challenge were doubled. Every donation made beyond that continued to go towards essential training courses for our crew such as the Newborn Life Support course.

Thank you.

Meet some of the Critical Care Team your donation helps

All 30 members of our crew will benefit from ongoing lifesaving training. Here’s some of the heroes your funding could help. They’ve told us some interesting, weird and wonderful facts about themselves:

If you didn't do your current job, what career would you be in?

Joined GWAAC: 2015

Favourite food: Pizza and black coffee.

Favourite song: Noone Knows – Queens of the Stone Age.

Known amongst the crew for: Insisting on going for dinner on late shifts/generally eating!

Best thing about your job: The people; colleagues and patients.

If you didn’t do your current job, what career would you be in? Artisan baker – I’m very proud of my sourdough!

"The surgical skills training course is invaluable. As the skills practiced on it are infrequently used yet only used in extreme cases, it's all the more important that you feel confident when approaching an incident. This training gives you that confidence."

What is your favourite food?

Joined GWAAC: 2017

Favourite food: A roast dinner with mayonnaise hands down.

Favourite band/song: Imagine Dragons is such an awesome band.

Known amongst the crew for: Erm I’m not sure hopefully friendly.

When not at GWAAC, you can normally be found doing: Spending time with my family and renovating our house.

Favourite TV show: The Big Bang Theory- best TV show ever, when it finished it left a void 

Best thing about your job: The people I work with and being able to relieve pain and suffering in our community.

If you didn’t do your current job, what career would you be in: I think being a vet would be pretty cool.

Where would we find you when not at GWAAC?

Joined GWAAC: 2014

Where would we find you when not at GWAAC: Messing around in the outdoors as much as possible, playing with my two children.

Most known amongst the crew for: A voracious appetite for coffee, but a significant dislike of instant coffee!

Favourite TV show: Any of the crime dramas.

Best thing about your job: The variety, the excitement, the teamwork and the opportunity to have a huge impact on the care patients receive.

If you didn’t do your current job, what career would you be in? I wanted to be a vet when I was younger, but honestly couldn’t see myself doing anything other than being a paramedic now!

''The decision to carry out a surgical procedure is often harder than carrying out the procedure itself. Feeling confident in your abilities is key. The surgical skills training course helps us to prepare for difficult situations in the field. One of the highlights is being able to run through procedures with colleagues who you work with on a day-to-day basis, so when you need to use the skills in the real world everyone knows exactly what to do.”

What is the best thing about your job?

Year you joined GWAAC: 2012

Best thing about your job: Lots! Patient care, teamwork with great bunch of clinicians, teaching and mentoring

Favourite food: Chocolate

Most known amongst the crew for: Getting on with things…..

If you didn’t do your current job, what career do you think you would be in: Always wanted to be a vet

Surgical skills training is very important, as some of the critical care interventions we do means we need these skills. For me to be able to do the training ensures I remain competent, especially in the high end skills we deliver that are only needed with very sick or injured patients. It allows me to be confident to deliver the intervention when needed. As an advanced practitioner on scene I may be responsible for deciding on the interventions needed so I have to be confident I can deliver them.