I’ve worked for the air ambulance since 2006 and have spent several Christmas Days at the airbase. We’re operational 365 days a year so we have to approach Christmas Day like any other.
Typically, I’ll be up early with the kids, opening presents before heading down to the base ahead of the shift starting at 8am.
The crew each bring in some food and we’ll warm it up for lunch. One year, a local hotel in Penrith, The George, sent plates full of Christmas dinner in which went down well. It’s become a tradition that the chief executive of the charity will also pop in to wish us a Merry Christmas.
Usually, we have paperwork and other admin tasks to fulfil during the day when we aren’t responding to a call-out. Christmas Day is different though – we try to keep it more relaxed. We’re always ready to go however, we have to be as there are times when we are needed, sadly. It is always more emotive responding to an incident on Christmas. It is a day when people should enjoying themselves with loved ones, so it is particularly challenging dealing with someone’s crisis at this time of year.
We finish around 5pm and then it’s straight back home to spend the rest of the day with my family.