Welcome back paramedic Jake

“My first meal back was chicken parmos with extra garlic sauce.”

Yesterday, paramedic Jake Gunn had his first shift back onboard the Guardian of the North II after spending several months working as an army medic overseas.

We’re delighted to have him back and looking forward to seeing him regularly around the base again.

For those who may be unfamiliar with Jake, here’s a bit of a recap of his time at GNAAS:

Jake, from Durham, originally started off as a receptionist in a GP surgery near James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough, so our helicopter was a regular sight for him.

He said: “I used to see the helicopter landing and taking off and thinking how cool it was. I left university and didn’t really know what I wanted to do but working there really made me decide that I wanted to go into medicine.”

When Jake left the GP surgery he decided to study for a paramedic qualification and worked in central Manchester for a while before moving back home to work for the North East Ambulance Service, as well as study a Master’s degree.

Throughout his paramedic career Jake had always aspired to work at GNAAS and after a rigorous interview and assessment day, he was offered the job of an air ambulance paramedic.

Speaking about when he found out he got the job, he said: “I really couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t hide my grin back in the garden and it was fair to say there were extra beers and hugs all around.”

Since joining GNAAS in January 2022, Jake has certainly made quite an impression.

From saving lives, to having the best Christmas jumper collection and creating bespoke sea glass necklaces, he’s a man of many talents.

Outside of work, Jake likes to keep fit and in the same year he joined our charity, he raised over £1,300 for GNAAS by completing his first Great North Run wearing our charity’s mascot helicopter costume Ellie Copter.

In 2023, after working in his role as an air ambulance paramedic for a year and a half, Jake was deployed with the army to Somalia for six months.

He said: “I deployed with the army to Somalia as part of the UK support operation to African Union peace enforcement, as a medic. I provided medical care and training while there.”

While he enjoyed his time away, Jake said that he is glad to be back in the North East of England and working at GNAAS again.

Upon his return, Jake had a busy first shift, responding to three incidents in Esh Winning, Seaham and Middlesbrough.

He said: “It feels great to be back, I’ve enjoyed being away but will love being back on shift. It’s really nice to see everyone here again and be working within an amazing group of people.

“I obviously missed the cool North East weather and walks with my wife and our dog Storm. My first meal back was chicken parmos with extra garlic sauce.”

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