To mark the start of Air Ambulance Week, The Duke of Cambridge has written an open letter thanking Air Ambulance workers for “the vital role [they] play in saving lives across the country every day.”
William’s letter reads:
“As we mark Air Ambulance Week 2020, I wanted to send my personal thanks to each and every member of the air ambulance community for the vital role you play in saving lives across the country every day.
“Having seen first-hand the incredible work of air ambulance teams both on the front line and behind the scenes, I hold a profound respect for all that you do. Whether you are part of the critical care team bringing vital medical support to patients when every second counts; an engineer who ensures that crews can be safely deployed at a moment’s notice; or a volunteer working to keep the service running, the country owes you an enormous debt of gratitude.
“The outbreak of COVID-19 has presented an immeasurably difficult challenge to all emergency responders. You have had to adapt to new ways of working throughout the pandemic – while continuing to provide a crucial lifeline to those who need it most. However, I know from experience that a wonderful spirit runs through the air ambulance community and I encourage everyone to continue to take time to support one another through these difficult times.
“I also know that for an emergency service funded almost entirely by public donations, this will have been an unsettling period for you all as fundraising activities have been curtailed. I am enormously grateful to all those who support the work of air ambulance services across the country – even through these most challenging of times.
“This Air Ambulance Week, more than ever, I am delighted to see a spotlight shone on the work of this community and all those who support you. Your tireless dedication to saving lives and helping those in times of greatest need is a source of huge pride for our country.”
The Air Ambulances’ Twitter account shared the letter, writing, “We’re delighted to mark the start of Air Ambulance Week 2020 with an open letter written by HRH The Duke of Cambridge to the UK’s 21 air ambulance charities thanking all who work, volunteer & support them in their tireless efforts in helping to save lives every day across the UK.”
William served as an Air Ambulance pilot with the East Anglian Air Ambulance from 2015 to 2017 and has often spoken of his regard for the work they perform, and for the need for better mental health services available to air ambulance personnel.
There are 21 Air Ambulance charities in the United Kingdom. William currently serves as Patron of the London Air Ambulance; The Duchess of Cornwall is Patron of the Cornwall Air Ambulance and the Wiltshire Air Ambulance; and The Countess of Wessex is Patron of the Thames Valley Air Ambulance.