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The MD 902 Explorer helicopter is supplied by Specialist Aviation Services, along with our pilot. The helicopter carries one pilot and two paramedics selected from the East Midlands Ambulance Services.

All Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) paramedics undergo a comprehensive selection process, which includes rigorous medicals, physical fitness tests, in-depth interviews and appraisals.

Successful HEMS paramedics are also expected to have detailed knowledge of aviation topics including: flight safety, communications, map reading, principles of flight, aircraft navigation, emergency in-flight procedures and HEMS rules.

Doctors regularly form part of the medical aircrew. These doctors, with a special interest and qualifications in pre-hospital care, are an asset to the operation, bringing added expertise.

The crew and helicopter are at our new base at RAF Waddington. This base was built in 2015; it took just 10 weeks thanks to the great support of some brilliant individuals and companies. Here’s a time lapse video to show you the base going up:

So what happens when you call 999?

In an emergency, when someone rings 999 and they get through to the East Midlands Ambulance Service, the severity and urgency of the emergency will be assessed, and if deemed suitable, our ambucopter will be sent.

The Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance therefore work as a team with the East Midlands Ambulance Service. A dedicated HEMS dispatcher, based in EMAS’ control room, deploys the ambucopter and crew to incidents and monitors their progress throughout.

Here’s an infographic on what happens when you call 999. The ambucopter will most often be dispatched for Red 1 and Red 2 emergencies; and if circumstances such as the remoteness of location demand it, Green 1 and 2s.

EMAS Responding to 999 calls 2014

More on our Crew

Our regular crew rotate shifts; 4 days on and 4 days off. We always have 2 paramedics on the Ambucopter, and of course, a pilot!  In addition to this, we also have a Doctor covering most of our shifts.

Our crew are a highly competent, professional and kind bunch with a great sense of humour; something that is often needed when times get tough. The charity is immensely proud to work alongside them.

Not a lot of people know this, but our paramedics also have aircraft training which includes navigational and operational skills to assist the pilot!

Click on the yellow arrow boxes to read more:

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Captain Paul Smith

Position: Chief Pilot

  • Flying with us since 2011

Paul began his career as an engineer in the RAF when he was seventeen. He left and trained to become a helicopter pilot and has flown in all sorts of different situations, from fire fighting to offshore charters.

Away from work Paul likes spending time with his family and his Land Rover.

Captain Tim Taylor

Position: Pilot

  • Flying with us since 2012

Tim joined the Army at 16 as a brick layer in the Royal Engineers. In 1996 he volunteered for pilot training and has served all over the world flying Lynx helicopters.

Tim holds a keen interest in Aviation history and is very proud to serve his local Air Ambulance.

Roger Linnell

Position: HEMS Paramedic

  • Flying with us since 2000
  • Joined the ambulance service in 1988

Roger joined us in 2000 and became Unit Manager in 2003. He lives with his family near Newark, likes DIY, holidays and walking his dog, Jasper.

Neil Clarke

Position: HEMS Paramedic

  • Flying with us since 2003
  • Joined the ambulance service in 1995

Neil has been a paramedic since just before the millennium, and he’s proud that his career spans two centuries. He loves sports and cycling.

He lives near Mansfield with his wife and dog and has two children.

Richard Irwin

Position: HEMS Paramedic

  • Flying with us since 2012
  • Joined the ambulance service in 2004

Richard joined us after eight years on ambulances and fast response vehicles in Nottinghamshire where he still lives.

He is currently studying for a degree at Teeside University but still has to organise our storeroom.

Jane Pattison

Position: HEMS Paramedic

  • Flying with us since August 2011
  • Joined the ambulance service in March 2004

Jane keeps track of our drug stock at the airbase. She lives in Retford with her husband and 2 dogs and enjoys cooking for friends and family.

Jane has fairly recently taken up cycling, so thank goodness the air ambulance is there – just in case!

John McKenzie

Position: HEMS Paramedic

  • Flying with us since 2012
  • Joined the Ambulance Service in 2004

John loves the variety of ambulance work and really enjoys flying. He is currently undertaking a degree with the University of Nottingham.

He lives in Scunthorpe with his wife, 2 children and Mycroft the dog.