Helipad manager wins Award of Excellence

Tuesday 13th November 2018

For nearly 25 years, helipad and driving standards manager Paul Smith has gone above and beyond to ensure the development of our charity’s service. We are therefore delighted that he has been awarded Air Operations Support Staff Member of the Year at the 2018 Association of Air Ambulances Awards of Excellence.

Paul initially joined our service as an aviation firefighter. When we began using rapid response cars in 1999, he funded his own training to become our charity's fleet manager. At the time, we had just one car to deliver our team at night or in adverse weather conditions. 

Paul has since grown that one car to a fleet of five. As one of the most qualified blue light driving instructors in the UK, he has single-handedly trained every paramedic that has worked for our service in the last 20 years. He also trains our doctors in night-time navigation, and other doctors and paramedics from services across the UK.

In 2014, he added aviation security manager to his list of responsibilities, coordinating the development and maintenance issues that come with a helipad atop the UK’s busiest major trauma centre. Paul’s dedication to the smooth running of our service knows no bounds; he once drove to France to get a new engine for our helicopter when the previous one burnt out.

Paul is also often on duty with our trauma teams, and if needed will support the medical response to incidents. He has attended several major incidents, including the 7/7 bombings and, more recently, the Grenfell Tower Fire. 

Charles Newitt, Chief Operating Officer at London’s Air Ambulance, said: 

“Paul has never faltered in his commitment to our charity. From the day to day running of the helipad to ensuring our paramedics can drive swiftly and safely, Paul has created a legacy not just for London’s Air Ambulance but the entire air ambulance community. We are privileged to have benefited from his wisdom, and are very pleased to see his work recognised.”

The Association of Air Ambulances Awards of Excellence recognise exceptional people in the air ambulance community helping to save and improve lives. We would like to congratulate all of this years' awards well-deserving winners and nominees.

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