The Devon Air Ambulance team have received four industry awards at the recent Awards of Excellence hosted by Air Ambulances UK.

The awards ceremony that took place in Birmingham on Monday evening, was attended by hundreds involved in the air ambulance industry.

Earlier in the year, all the Air Ambulance teams across the UK were invited to submit nominations towards a number of categories set out by Air Ambulances UK. The Devon Air Ambulance team submitted three nominations and came home with four awards.

The first award was presented to Advanced Paramedic in Critical Care, Lee Hilton, who won Critical Care Practitioner of the Year, in recognition not only for demonstrating excellent clinical standards and delivering the best possible quality of care to patients, but for being  a true inspiration to all. Lee took an instrumental role in setting up the DAA Volunteer Responder Scheme earlier this year that, to date, has seen a trio of DAA specialist paramedics attend over 40 patients needing critical care, whom the volunteers responded to in their own time. The judges commented that this was a scheme ripe for replication.

Next, the Communications Team were announced winners of Campaign of the Year because of their hugely successful ‘Help with all your Heart’ campaign which educated the public in Devon about cardiac arrest, the importance of early bystander intervention and the use of defibrillators. This campaign will now continue into 2023 where the DAA team aims to reach even more individuals who could ultimately help to save a life.

The next award was received by DAA’s Toby Russell, on behalf of the Community Landing Sites Team, for winning Charity Team of the Year and for providing outstanding clinical and operational support by keeping the aircrew and patients safe whilst delivering time-critical care after dark. DAA now has access to over 190 surveyed community landing sites across Devon, enabling their operational crew to reach patients safely during the hours of darkness.

And finally, a fantastic finale to the evening’s awards ceremony, and especially for DAA, was the presentation of a Lifetime Achievement Award to Nigel Hare, Operations Director. This amazing accolade was in recognition not only of Nigel’s 25 years of service within the Air Ambulance Helicopter Emergency Medical Services community, but also his pioneering contribution to its development.

Heléna Holt, Devon Air Ambulance CEO said:

‘I could not be more proud of all our team. These awards recognise their constant commitment to always striving to do more and do better for patients.  But it also has to be recognised that we have only been able to do so thanks to our hundreds of volunteers and wonderful supporters without whom our service simply would not exist!

‘I am beyond delighted for Nigel who has received a very well deserved, Lifetime Achievement Award and very proud to see our incredible workforce recognised by our peers for their innovative achievements.’