A PATIENT transport service driver has said he was inspired to work in the emergency services after he required the help of the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) when he broke his leg.
Jason Black, 44, from Keswick, was moving hay bales on a farm in Millbeck, Keswick, when he lost his footing on the trailer he was on and slipped backwards onto the ground on September 8 2008.
The GNAAS paramedic and doctor team and North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) paramedics attended the scene to assess and treat Mr Black.
They decided it would be best to take Mr Black to the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle and he was flown to hospital in 12 minutes.
He said: “My son was only four weeks old when it happened so it was a bit of bad timing. I was in hospital for three weeks and had an external fixator fitted onto my leg with six pins in and other odd bits and pieces. After I got out of hospital I was on crutches but I slipped and knocked my leg out of shape and had to go back and get a plaster cast first then have some metalwork done.
“I took an interest in the care I had after the accident and in hospital and I like to do my bit and give something back, so I joined NWAS three years ago and work in patient transport services.”
Mr Black recently visited the GNAAS base at Langwathby with his wife Pamela and his son Daniel, who was very excited to meet the medics and sit in the helicopter.
Mr Black said: “Daniel is ten years old and has autism and no speech so it can be quite hard sometimes. He loves anything to do with the ambulance service and has watched GNAAS on Emergency Helicopter Medics so he’s really enjoyed seeing the helicopter in real life and meeting the crew.
“It’s nice to see both sides of GNAAS as a patient and with NWAS and see them saving lives. I spot them flying over a lot around Carlisle and I pass by the base and see it outside. They offer a fantastic service.”
GNAAS is funded entirely by donations. Last year, it needed to raise £5.1m to survive. To find out how you can help please visit www.gnaas.com or call 01325-487263.