Yorkshire Air Ambulance (YAA) is thrilled to announce the addition of five new highly skilled paramedics to their team, who join on secondment from Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust (YAS) for three-years. Also joining the operational team is Phil Larkins, a former military Pilot with nearly four decades of flying experience, solidifying YAA’s ongoing commitment to providing critical care to the people of Yorkshire.
Each member of the newly expanded YAA team brings a unique blend of experience, expertise, and an unwavering commitment to providing the highest standard of care to patients. Their dedication echoes the spirit that has defined YAA’s service to the Yorkshire community for over 24 years.
Paul Holmes, Operations Manager at Yorkshire Air Ambulance, expressed his enthusiasm for the new additions, stating, “We are delighted to welcome these highly-skilled paramedics to our YAA family. Their expertise and experience will undoubtedly enhance our ability to provide critical care to those in need across Yorkshire. I look forward to seeing the positive impact they will all have on our life-saving operations.”
The expansion of the YAA crew comes just nine months after the introduction of eight Technical Crew Members (TCM) in March 2023. The TCMs play a vital role in ensuring the aircraft’s maintenance and operational readiness, including daily engine flushes and essential pre-flight checks. Additionally, they perform a crucial navigator role during flight, sitting alongside the pilot.
Owen McTeggart, Chief Pilot of Yorkshire Air Ambulance, added, “The addition of an experienced pilot such as Phil to our team significantly enhances our capacity to provide swift and effective critical care, ensuring the seamless and safe transportation of our team of Doctors and Paramedics across the region, allowing us to deliver the best possible pre-hospital care.”
Phil, from Doncaster, took to the skies at a remarkably young age, obtaining his private pilot’s license at just 17, even before he held a full driving license.
His flying career has since spanned the globe, beginning in the Royal Navy, where he piloted the Lynx from Frigates and Destroyers. Later, he took his skills to the Royal New Zealand Navy, where he completed an exchange tour in Australia. Following his military service, Phil extended his wings further by venturing into commercial aviation, operating in diverse regions, from the Middle East to Iran, Sudan, Libya, and most recently, Brunei before returning to his roots in South Yorkshire.
Originally from Bolton but now proudly embracing Yorkshire as his home, Huddersfield based Stewart has worked within paramedicine since 2014 and has worked with YAS since 2016. In addition to his role with YAA, Stewart holds additional qualifications in advanced life support and trauma care due to his responsibilities as a member of a Motorsport medical response team at regular motorsport events.
Stewart shares his motivation for joining YAA, stating, ” Joining YAA was the logical step in pursuing my critical care ambitions. My vision for my role at YAA revolves around continuous growth. I aspire to enhance my clinical skills by tapping into the extensive experience of the established HEMS team, ensuring that each patient receives the highest standard of care. I also look forward to supporting the fundraising teams and helping to raising awareness of the remarkable work they do.”
Hull native Chris Gibbins brings a wealth of aviation experience and a passion for critical care to the YAA team.
Chris’s career as a paramedic began with the Humberside Ambulance Service in the early nineties, where he served at Hull Central Ambulance Station. Chris later transitioned to become a Search and Rescue Helicopter Winchman Paramedic and Aircrewman with HM Coastguard undertaking challenging search and rescue operations in mountainous and maritime environments.
In June 2023, Chris made a full-time return to the Yorkshire Ambulance Service, based at Hull West Ambulance Station, before joining the YAA crew.
Tom’s extensive career in the field of paramedicine commenced in the early 2000s when he joined the London Ambulance Service. Over the years, he has contributed his expertise to various services, gathering a wealth of experience along the way. Prior to his secondment to YAA, Tom served as a Clinical Educator within the Yorkshire Ambulance Service academy.
Reflecting on his new role, Tom said, “After dedicating five years to the education of new paramedics, I was thrilled to be offered the opportunity to return to the frontline and provide high-quality critical care to the people of Yorkshire. This experience promises to be a journey of acquiring new skills and knowledge, and I am excited about the challenges it will bring.”
Max, who resides in Otley with his one-eyed cat, is driven by a profound passion for providing care to the most critically ill patients.
He initiated his career at Bradford ambulance station and later joined the hazardous area response team, establishing a robust foundation of paramedicine knowledge, ahead of his secondment to HEMS, where he actively contributes his expertise to the execution of the charity’s life-saving missions.
Before joining Yorkshire Air Ambulance, Leanne, from Rotherham, spent four years of her career as a paramedic at Doncaster Ambulance Station, having completed her studies at Sheffield Hallam University in 2019.
Leanne’s decision to become part of the YAA team highlights her profound commitment to the well-being of the region’s residents. Expressing her eagerness, Leanne shared, “I am thrilled to be seconded to Yorkshire Air Ambulance. Every day brings a unique set of challenges, and it’s incredibly exciting to be flying all over the region as part of this dynamic role. I’m eager to deepen my understanding of critical care by working alongside the team of expert doctors and experienced HEMS paramedics at YAA – I am committed to seizing every learning opportunity to enhance my clinical knowledge and skills.”