Maintaining a open atmosphere and being free to listen to others have been key in helping Scotland’s newest air ambulance crew cope with the mental health pressures of the job.
Making the move from divisional ambulance services on the road, the Aberdeen team have been faced with many more seriously hurt patients than they would otherwise have faced.
Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance launched their second aircraft, flying out of the city’s airport, a year ago today.
And lead paramedic Ewan Littlejohn revealed the difference, when dealing with patients with traumatic injuries day in, day out, is certainly on his mind.
“In an ambulance you are predominantly dealing with a lot of medical incidents, whereas here we deal with a lot of trauma,” he told The P&J.
His colleague, Laura McAllister, who previously worked on ambulances in London and Edinburgh, said: “There is a lot more social work working on an ambulance in cities, it’s a very different job compared to all you have to think about here as a crew member and the job we are actually doing.
“It is likely more serious, given the need for the helicopter.”
Mr Littlejohn said he and all the team have to “acutely aware we are seeing all this trauma”, warning it will build up.
He added: “But the good thing we do here is we talk and debrief after every job.
“I think on the road, because you are so busy, it just doesn’t happen; there is no discussion as you’re going from job to job to job.
“Whereas here I feel we provide the time to support each other, like a little family getting through the difficult jobs together.”
Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance has made a huge impact since 2013, saving lives and preventing suffering.
That is why the P&J campaigned successfully for Scaa’s second helicopter to be based in our region.
It has now been a year since the aircraft – call sign Helimed 79 – started flying missions from Aberdeen Airport.
But this is an emergency service that relies entirely on donations.
Each call-out costs about £2,500 and SCAA needs P&J readers to help hit its £6million target to cover the cost of its first three years operating in the north-east.
So please do anything you can to raise those funds and show that We’re Backing Helimed 79.
Ways to donate to SCAA
- Website: www.scaa.org.uk/donate
- Text: Text ‘SCAA’ and the amount to 70085
- Phone: 03001231111
- Cheques: Made payable to ‘SCAA’ or ‘Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance’ and sent to: Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance (SCAA), The Control Tower, Perth Airport, Scone, PH2 6PL