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William 'trying to be a good guy'

Published 13/07/2015

The Duke of Cambridge is starting a new job as an air ambulance pilot
The Duke of Cambridge is starting a new job as an air ambulance pilot

The Duke of Cambridge had a quiet first day in his new job as he said he hopes juggling fatherhood, royal duties and work as an air ambulance pilot will help him become a "grounded individual".

William clocked on at 7am today for his first shift as a pilot for the East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA), based at Cambridge Airport, and admitted he was experiencing first-day nerves.

There was little time to settle in as William and his crew-mates were dispatched on their first emergency call-out at 9.20am.

However, this incident did not turn out to be as serious as first expected and the crew was quickly stood down. With no further calls, they spent the day carrying out training and safety checks.

Their colleagues based at Norwich Airport were busy as they were called to support police, firefighters and paramedics at a fatal explosion at an industrial unit in Norwich.

Asked if he was prepared for the traumatic sights he will encounter in his new role, William said: "Nothing ever prepares you that well for what you are going to see."

Speaking at the start of his shift, the Duke, who is known as Captain William Wales in his new role, said he was "fantastically excited" and was looking forward to working with a "very professional bunch of guys and girls".

He added that he was enjoying being a father-of-two following the birth of Princess Charlotte in May but described Prince George, who will turn two on July 22, as "a little monkey".

William said of his new job: " 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."

William will balance the new job with his royal duties and, while he admitted this brought with it certain pressures, he said he was confident he could make it work.

"At some point there's going to be a lot more responsibility and pressure but at the moment I'm juggling it and enjoying it," he added.

"While I'm still relatively young, I will manage the two jobs the best I can."

Asked about the birth of Charlotte, he said: " It's been fantastic, she's been a little joy from heaven.

"At the same time there is a lot of responsibility especially when George is around - he's been a little monkey.

"It's no more difficult than what everyone else has to do."

William and his crew-mates began the day by checking over the H145 helicopter he will fly.

Today he will work alongside pilot Captain Dave Kelly, Dr Gemma Mullen and paramedic Tim Daniels.

William told reporters: "It's my first day and I'm feeling the nerves.

"We're starting off on a wet Cambridge day, but I'm really looking forward to getting started.

"It's been a lot of effort and patience in training but we're here now and I'm looking forward to doing the job."

William will work a nine-and-a-half-hour shift today as part of a four days on, four off rota.

To allow for royal duties, he will complete about two-thirds of the normal shift pattern but he is expected to work a full rota in the early months of the role to allow him to settle in.

His first duties included carrying out safety checks and refuelling the aircraft before taking part in a team briefing.

The crew will be on call to deploy to emergencies, ranging from road traffic collisions to cardiac arrests and sporting injuries, within 25 minutes.

William will also be expected to work late shifts, running from 4.30pm to midnight.

The former RAF search and rescue helicopter pilot is already qualified to captain or pilot a Sea King helicopter.

Before beginning with the EAAA he took part in a civilian pilot course before undergoing training in flying the specific helicopters used by the service, as well as a dedicated 999-response course.

He will initially work as a co-pilot but will become a full pilot once he has completed enough flying hours.

He took unpaid leave in April after the first phase of his training but has now returned to work following the birth of Princess Charlotte.

William will be paid a salary for the role, all of which will be donated to charity.

The Duke side-stepped questions about whether or not he and the Duchess of Cambridge would have further children.

He said: "I t is fantastic having a lovely little family and I am so thrilled. And Catherine has been doing an amazing job as a mother and I'm very proud of her.

"We've only just had the second one. You never know what is going to happen in the future."

He said there was in theory no reason why he could not carry on doing the air ambulance job indefinitely.

"There's nothing to say I couldn't do it for the rest of my life," he said.

"I might be able to, and still balance the two. Inevitably down the line, things will probably become a little bit more difficult for me to do that.

"The term 'full-time royal role' is bandied around quite a lot, and no-one actually really knows what that means, but I think I can still manage to do my commitments and my responsibilities as well as I can.

"The Queen is still very active and is still showing incredible leadership. My father is doing many, many engagements, as are the rest of the family, and so there's a lot being done by the Royal Family around the country.

"I hope to still be a part of that, and do as much as I can, but equally do something which I think is incredibly important and (will) prove me in good stead for the future."

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