LONG-SERVING Wiltshire Air Ambulance Critical Care Paramedic Jo Munday, who features on the charity’s Airbase Appeal logo, says her job is fantastic.


Before she joined Wiltshire Air Ambulance (WAA), Jo worked as a paramedic on land ambulances and rapid response cars stationed at Swindon, Malmesbury and Marlborough.


She said she wanted to join WAA when she visited the airbase at Devizes during her first week of induction with Wiltshire Ambulance Service 18 years ago.


She said: “I remember seeing the helicopter and thinking ‘I want to work here one day.’ Being a HEMS (Helicopter Emergency Medical Service) paramedic has been the pinnacle of my career.


“I love my job, I’m very lucky to do what I do. It’s so rewarding and I continue to learn every single day. Meeting patients who visit us after we have treated them is a privilege and quite emotional.”


During her 11 years at WAA the operation has changed significantly, including the upskilling of the paramedics.


They are trained in critical care skills, paid for by the charity, which means they can give advanced drugs and undertake surgical procedures at the scene of an incident before patients are taken to hospital for further treatment.


The other major change has been the switch from sharing a helicopter with Wiltshire Police to operating as a stand-alone air ambulance, using the state-of-the-art Bell 429 helicopter since January 2015.


Jo said: “This has benefited patients because it means we only go to air ambulance tasks and we now have two paramedics on board. Being purely an air ambulance means we have more space for medical equipment for treating patients.”


She is looking forward to the new airbase at Semington where the aircrew and charity team will be together under the same roof for the first time. She also says she was flattered to be chosen as the image of the Airbase Appeal.


She said: “I love the picture of me being in black and white, so you can’t see too many wrinkles! Seriously, I hope the Airbase Appeal is successful because having a purpose-built airbase is a really exciting proposition for the entire county.


“We have brilliant support from the public who raise the funds we need each year to keep flying and saving lives. The aircraft is everybody’s aircraft.”