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Duke flies four life-saving ambulance missions in first week

Published 19/07/2015

The Duke of Cambridge as he begins his new job with the East Anglian Air Ambulance
The Duke of Cambridge as he begins his new job with the East Anglian Air Ambulance

The Duke of Cambridge flew on four life-saving missions during his first week as an air ambulance pilot.

William joined the East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA) as a helicopter pilot on Monday and told journalists he was experiencing first day nerves.

He had little time to settle in as the helicopter took off just two hours in to his first shift.

Although this mission was quickly stood down after it was decided the air ambulance's attendance was not needed, he only had to wait until the next day before taking to the air again.

On Tuesday he and the rest of the crew flew a mission to Garboldisham in Norfolk. The charity has not released details of this incident due to patient confidentiality.

The following day was William's busiest yet, as the crew was deployed twice: once to Felixstowe in Suffolk and once to Colchester in Essex.

The Felixstowe incident happened shortly after midday when a man in his 50s suffered a cardiac arrest.

William's helicopter was carrying medics Dr Gemma Mullen and critical-care paramedic Rob Riches who treated the man at the scene.

The crew then airlifted him to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital for further treatment.

On Thursday the crew flew their final mission of the week to Wisbech in Cambridgeshire.

While not in the air, the crew are expected to undergo training and to carry out safety checks on the aircraft.

William is expected to work a four-day on/four off shift pattern made up of 7am to 4.30pm and 4.30pm to midn ight duties.

Speaking about his new job, the former RAF search and rescue pilot said: "It's sort of a follow-on from where I was in the military with my search and rescue role.

"There are many of the same kind of skills and a job like this is very worthwhile, valuable and there's an element of duty.

"It's an important area for me to be involved in to continue my career and training.

"For me it's a really important point to be grounded. I feel doing a job like this really helps me to be grounded and that's the core of what I'm trying to become.

"I'm trying to be a good guy, to do what I can and trying to be a decent individual."

Because of royal responsibilities, he will work about two thirds of a pilot's normal hours but in the early months he will work a full roster as he settles in.

He will donate his salary in full to charity.

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