Aaron joined the Great North Air Ambulance Service in 2022.
“I’ve always seen GNAAS as the pinnacle of my career and can’t wait to be part of a team that’s so innovative and forward-thinking.”
Before working at GNAAS, Aaron was a call handler for the East of England Ambulance Service. He underwent his paramedic training and from there went on the front line as a paramedic.
Head of Clinical Services and Paramedic
Andrew is our assistant director of clinical services and has been with us at GNAAS since 2006. His role is mainly around clinical safety, ensuring that every patient is treated in the correct and safe manner.
“The best thing about GNAAS is the team mentality. We feel like we are all part of one big family. It can be exciting, it can be frustrating, it can be emotional, but it doesn’t feel like you are coming to work.”
Previously, Andrew was a paramedic with North West Ambulance Service, where he was also part of the training team helping to develop other paramedics.
As a self-proclaimed food lover, Andrew loves to keep fit by running, cycling and swimming and has taken part in multiple triathlons. He also stand-up paddle boards in the summer and likes to ski in the winter.
Head of Operations East and Paramedic
Gordon is a paramedic at GNAAS as well as holding the position as operations manager at the Teesside International Airport base, where he is responsible for ensuring an efficient and effective service is delivered on a day to day basis.
Gordon worked at GNAAS from 2008-2010 before he became a remote area paramedic and worked around the world. He joined the team again in 2017.
“Within GNAAS, there is a true family ethos and along with that the associated pride that is gained from being within the team is highly motivational.
To work with such passionate, encouraging and skilled personnel is an honour. This is true across all departments at GNAAS from operations to fundraisers along with our dedicated staff at headquarters.”
Outside of work, Gordon likes to surf, and competed in his younger years. Nowadays, he enjoys watching his two sons catching waves and learning the sport themselves.
Hollie joined the team in January 2022 as a critical care paramedic. She has worked on ambulances since she was 19 years old, and started with the North East Ambulance Service as an apprentice on patient transport.
She qualified as a paramedic in 2017 and worked from Chester-le-Street ambulance station. She is also an academic tutor at Sunderland University and assists with training paramedic students.
“My favourite part of working for GNAAS is the team! I feel so lucky to work alongside incredibly skilled and knowledgeable clinicians who are always striving towards the best possible care for the patients, and to top it off, they’re some of the nicest people I’ve met!”
Outside of work Hollie enjoys catching up with friends and family. She is regularly in the Lake District and enjoys walking and exploring the coffee shops whilst she’s there. Her ambition is to complete all the Wainwright walks – though her family members are currently beating her at this.
Paramedic Jake joined GNAAS in 2021.
His first role was as a receptionist in a GP surgery near James Cook University Hospital, where he used to see the helicopter landing and taking off and think how cool it was. After gaining his paramedic qualification, jake worked in Manchester before moving back to the North East to work with the North East Ambulance Service while studying for his master’s degree. From there, he joined GNAAS.
“It feels unbelievable, and I really couldn’t be happier to be here. I still find myself smiling on my way to work, and every time I pull up outside and see the GNAAS sign, I can’t get my head around the fact that I work here.”
Head of Training and Paramedic
Jamie Walsh works as our senior aircrew paramedic providing critical care to patients at the roadside. His other role at GNAAS is training manager, which involves the planning, organisation and delivery of our external courses such as the Pre-Hospital Emergency Anaesthesia Course and the Pre-Hospital Emergency Medicine Crew Course.
Before being part of the team at GNAAS Jamie worked for the North East Ambulance Service in a number of different roles. Throughout his career he has also worked as part of the British Superbike Medical Team, Moto GP Medical Team and also done some remote medicine as part of a motorcycle adventure tour.
“My favourite thing about working at GNAAS is working with some fantastic people and being in a very privileged position where we have the opportunity to help those people most in need.”
Outside of work, Jamie enjoys travelling around, riding his mountain bikes and motorbikes.
Jemma joined the Great North Air Ambulance Service in the summer of 2021.
Her first healthcare job was as a dental assistant in Australia before becoming a registered nurse in a neurosurgical unit.
“Being a paramedic is so incredibly rewarding, and although it has its ups and downs like any job – I wouldn’t swap it for the world.”
From there, she was employed by Ambulance Tasmania, where she was also a full-time student on a paramedic science course. Four years later, she moved to London and worked as an RRV paramedic before moving to the North East as part of the North East Ambulance Service, providing advanced care to critically unwell patients.
In her free time, Jemma loves exploring the beautiful North East countryside with her rescue dog, Bruce.
John joined the Great North Air Ambulance Service in 2020.
After leaving school, Johnm joined the RAF before becoming a voluntary first responder in the community with the North East Ambulance Servce. He later secured a role as an emergency care worker, assisting paramedics.
Once qualified, John occasionally worked on rapid response vehicles. In 2017, he completed the GNAAS PHEMCC course and a few years later become a full-fledged member of the team!
“My kids absolutely love helicopters and aircraft. My littlest, George, who is two agrees with anything but my eldest thinks my job is brilliant and sees me as a real-life superhero – I’m not.”
Head of Operations West and Paramedic
Lee previously worked with GNAAS 14 years ago before leaving due to family commitments. After spending time working in the NHS as a road crew paramedic, he rejoined the team as an aircrew paramedic in 2017.
“I love the exposure to the public; whose faith and adoration is continually prevalent and the support they offer with the little things they say, never falls upon deaf ears. It encourages and drives me to do my utmost to learn and develop and know I’m delivering life changing interventions to those whom hold us in such high regard.”
Outside of work, Lee has a passion for snowboarding which has him constantly wishing for snow. He also enjoys cycling and golf.
Marcus joined us in 2016 as one of our aircrew paramedics after finishing his Post Graduate Certificate in Education.
Before working at GNAAS, Marcus worked for the North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) for 10 years as an advanced technician and then a paramedic.
“My favourite part of working for GNAAS is the diversity it provides. One day I could be dispatching the aircraft, the next I could be on top of a mountain delivering care to an injured person.”
Outside of his work, Marcus is a husband and father. As well as spending time with his family and friends, he enjoys cycling, rugby and walking.
Carlisle-born Mike Sproat joined the Great North Air Ambulance Service in 2022, workedorks predominantly from the charity’s North West air base.
“I feel so privileged to be a paramedic, and it feels especially good to be working across a patch I was born in and delivering that critical care to my own community.”
Before coming to GNAAS, Mike worked as a mental health nurse in London. He moved back home to Carlisle and joined the North West Ambulance Service in 2002.
In his free time, Mike loves running, cycling, and walking his dog, Jasper. He also spends a large chunk of every weekend with his two sons at football matches and the Carlisle United games.
Sarah joined the charity in 2016 as an aircrew paramedic after four years with North West Air Ambulance before her previous role as a paramedic with North West Ambulance Service.
“What really struck me was the ethos of all the staff at GNAAS, who are constantly striving for new clinical developments and best practice. It’s an honour and a privilege to work with this team. It’s the best job in the world.”
When Sarah isn’t in the air, she enjoys adventure racing, which involves fell running, mountain biking and kayaking, as well as climbing, sailing and eventing with her horse.
Steve Miles, from Cramlington, joined the service in 2019.
Steve joined the North East Ambulance Service as an advanced trainee technician in 2003 before qualifying as a paramedic in 2006 and later becoming a senior paramedic, working alongside the Great North Air Ambulance Service on several occasions.
In 2017, he won the Emergency Care award at NEAS’ Beyond the Call of Duty Awards, recognising a commitment to delivering compassionate care to patients and their families in an emergency care setting.
“It’s great to deliver expert critical care to the most seriously ill and injured patients in our region, knowing that it’s possible to make a difference when a member of the public is having their worst day. It’s a fantastic place to work, I look forward to coming to work each shift, and I’m proud to be part of the GNAAS team.”
Paramedic and Data & Information Services Manager
Stu is our senior aircrew paramedic and data and information services manager at GNAAS. He is responsible for how we securely store and manage patient information and sits on the Clinical Standards panel which meets each month to review this information.
“I enjoy working as part of a great team of people who strive to provide the highest possible standard of care to those who need it, across the region. I like that we don’t stand still, we are continually looking to see what we can do, how we can update our practices and how best to use the public money we receive for the benefit of the patients.”
Stu joined the 8th Hartlepool Boys’ Brigade when he was younger and 31 years ago began volunteering at the same company, where he is now Captain. He is also President of the Boys’ Brigade in Hartlepool and Vice President for the North of England.
Paramedic and Operations Manager
Terry joined our team in 2005 and currently works as the operations manager at our Cumbria base, where he is responsible for the day to day running of our operation.
Prior to this, he worked with the Cumbria Ambulance Service where he built a wealth of knowledge and experience working in the region.
“One minute I can be working on admin in my office the next I can be at a bad incident on the M6 motorway, or on top of a mountain in the Lake District, or even by the sea on the North East Coast.
It’s a privilege to work with the people I work with, and to be able to do the job I do, I am very lucky and very thankful, I think I have one of the best jobs in the world.”
Outside of work, Terry enjoys going on outdoor adventures with his children.
Kate joined GNAAS as an aircrew doctor in 2018, and in addition to her clinical shifts, she is a a pre-hospital emergency medicine registrar at Sunderland Royal Hospital.
Kate has been working as an emergency medicine training doctor in the North East for nine years and also works part-time for a humanitarian relief charity which has involved working in war zone and disaster zones throughout the world.
“There is a really great team ethic at GNAAS with fantastic camaraderie; everyone works together for the best of the patients we see.”
Outside of work, Kate love anything outdoors, such as climbing and walking in the Lake District, cycling and kayaking. She also enjoys travelling and seeing new cultures.
Daniel Bearn is one of our doctors, and has been with us since 2015, delivering crucial care interventions to the patients that need it and being actively involved in teaching, training and service improvement.
“My favourite thing about GNAAS is the fantastic team environment, everyone is treated the same and everyone is motivated towards one common goal.”
For the past two years, Daniel has also had a role as a consultant in emergency medicine at James Cook University Hospital Major Trauma Centre.
When he’s not working, Daniel loves spending time with his family, and going on longs walks with their dog and having long Lego building sessions.
He also enjoys being outdoors and trying to keep fit by walking in the fells, cycling and running.
Deputy Medical Director
Dave Bramley is our chief medical officer at GNAAS and has been with us since 2006.
Alongside his clinical shifts working as a HEMS doctor, Dave is responsible for the overall care delivered by GNAAS and works closely with our Medical Directorate and operations team to ensure this is as safe and effective as possible.
“The constantly varied and challenging nature of GNAAS work is incredibly rewarding, and the whole team are fantastic to work with. Even after doing this for many years, I still find it breath-taking when we fly past the castles up the Northumbrian coast!”
Along with his role at GNAAS, Dave is also a consultant in Emergency Medicine at Sunderland Royal Hospital and has a particular interest in the medical response to major incidents.
Dave likes to spend his time outdoors with his wife and four sons. They all enjoy fell walking, mountain biking, rock climbing, kayaking and sailing. Dave also likes to play the guitar.
Laura joined our critical care team in 2011 as a pre-hospital doctor.
She initially worked more in the North East and also was an EM consultant at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle. She moved to Cumbria in 2017 to be closer to the Lake District and increase her outdoor quality of life, and now works as an ED consultant at North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Trust. She’s also a Medical Officer in 201 Field hospital as an Army Reservist, and she worked as co-course director of the Pre-Hospital Emergency Medicine Crew Course with Dr Jeff Doran.
“My favourite thing about working for GNAAS is it’s 100% about how it is a team effort and approach. From all the work behind the scenes in HQ fundraising to the operational delivery of the service. It is staffed by good humans who just want to do the best they can for patients that require our service in their time of need.”
Outside of work Laura loves going up the fells especially in the snow and winter months, and finds it great fun carrying the twins up and showing them the Lake District. She’s also a big skier and loves going anywhere on holiday where there is snow. Laura runs and cycles to keep fit, but admits she’d rather watch a Netflix series and eat chocolate.
Phil Dowson joined our team as a doctor in 2015.
He has also been an A&E doctor since he first qualified in 2007, working in multiple hospitals around the North and even spending a couple of years in an emergency department in Australia.
“The team I work with, they are more like family than colleagues. A great team of focused, enthusiastic professionals who are brilliant to work alongside.”
In his own time, Phil enjoys watching as much rugby as possible, going to the gym and “attempting” to surf.
John has been an aircrew doctor with GNAAS since 2017 and has strong interests in optimising high-performance medicine, clinical governance systems and mountain rescue medicine.
Before joining GNAAS John was a full-time flight physician with a number of UK air ambulances, and he now works as a Consultant in Emergency, Pre-hospital and Retrieval Medicine.
“The team are an amazingly motivated group of people who manage to keep smiling throughout the day no matter how difficult the jobs can be.”
Outside of work he is a mountaineer, fell runner, skier, photographer, and to his two children he’s a full-time pirate captain!
Phil is a doctor in our team and has been with us since way back in 2006.
He also works as a consultant anaesthetist at James Cook University Hospital, with his speciality interests being in trauma anaesthesia and resuscitation.
“My favourite thing about working at GNAAS is the team I work with, who are all striving for continuous improvement for the benefit of our patients. Best job in the world!”
Outside of work, Phil enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters as well as watching movies, playing piano and drinking red wine.
Rachel Hawes OBE
Dr Rachel Hawes joined our team as a doctor in 2009, where she is the clinical lead for our Blood on Board service. An innovative service to carry blood and plasma on our aircraft and road vehicles so that life-saving transfusions can be given at the road side.
“We’ve had a huge number of people survive that may not have if they hadn’t received the blood and plasma at the roadside. I think that must have been one of the most rewarding projects of my career! It’s such an exciting time to work for an organisation that’s forward thinking, innovative and progressive.”
Rachel’s work doesn’t stop at GNAAS, she also works for the NHS and the Army Reserve! Rachel enjoys the busy life in the outdoors with her husband and toddler.
Ally joined GNAAS as an aircrew doctor in August 2021. He is currently a consultant in emergency and pre-hospital emergency medicine at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle.
Previously he undertook pre-hospital emergency medicine training and then worked for the Welsh Air Ambulance Emergency Medical, Retrieval and Transfer Service (EMRTS Wales).
“My favourite thing about working for GNAAS is having the privilege of being able to deliver world class emergency care when the people of the North East & Cumbria need it most. It amazes me how the awesome team at GNAAS work together to achieve this.”
Outside of work he enjoys playing or watching sport, listening to music and attending gigs, and spending time with friends, family and his “Bordernese” dog.
Jonathan 'Doogie' Howes
Jonathan ‘Doogie’ joined GNAAS in 2015 as an aircrew doctor and is also a consultant in pre-hospital emergency medicine.
As well as working on both the aircraft and the car on a night-time, he is also one of the course directors for the Pre-Hospital Emergency Medicine Crew Course (PHEMCC).
“My favourite part about working for GNAAS is the teamwork and friendships I’ve made on the job, and also the fact we give the sickest people in the north the best chance of survival.”
Outside of work Jonathan enjoys travelling and also tries to stay fit by taking part in triathlons, running and cross fit.
Our aircrew doctor Chris Johnson has been a part of the team since 2015, where he works clinical shifts on both the helicopters and rapid response vehicles.
“My favourite part has to be flying around the north of England in a helicopter! But also working as part of an amazing team to help the people that need our services.”
As well as his work on our aircraft, Chris is employed as a consultant in anaesthetics and intensive care medicine at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle.
In his spare time, Chris enjoys running, cycling, baking and subsequently eating cake.
Phil joined as an aircrew doctor in 2014, as well as working within the GNAAS critical care team, he also supports training delivery including the Pre-Hospital Emergency Medicine Crew Course and Pre-Hospital Emergency Anaesthesia Course.
Alongside his work with GNAAS, Phil is a consultant in emergency medicine & pre-hospital emergency medicine in the emergency department at Sunderland Royal Hospital.
“My favourite thing about working at GNAAS is the fantastic team work, every individual works hard to ensure that our patients are cared for using the most up-to-date techniques, skills and equipment.”
Outside of work, Phil likes to spend time with his wife and two children, and also volunteers as a youth manager with St John Ambulance and team doctor for Northumberland National Park Mountain Rescue Team.
Nat joined GNAAS in August 2021 as a pre-hospital doctor and is also an emergency medicine doctor at the RVI in Newcastle.
In addition to this she has been a North East Trainee since 2013 and is a Medical Officer in the Royal Air Force working with the Medical Emergency Response Team (MERT).
She did National Pre-Hospital Emergency Medicine training in the East of England with MAGPAS Air Ambulance and East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA) and continued to work with EAAA for the last three years. This gave her a great array of experience and training that she could bring back up North when she returned home.
She also worked with British Antarctic Survey in 2020 and went to Rothera Research Station in Antarctica for four months.
“My favourite part about working for GNAAS is working with great people and learning from everyone. We push each other to make sure we are all constantly learning and improving and challenging one another to ensure we are always providing the best care for every patient.”
In her free time Nat enjoys strength training, having previously been involved in powerlifting competitions. Nat is also hugely passionate about music and goes to lots of music events, which she says is her happy place. She’s also doing projects in her garden and is enjoying learning all about gardening.
Nicola joined as an aircrew doctor in August 2021 and is completing the National Pre-Hospital Emergency Medicine Training Programme, working towards the Fellowship in Immediate Medical Care qualification.
Alongside her work with GNAAS, Nicola is a Registrar in Anaesthesia at James Cook University Hospital and also works as a military doctor in the Royal Air Force where she works within a team who repatriate injured and sick service people from all over the world.
She previously worked in the West Midlands as a Registrar in Anaesthesia and has also worked as an expedition doctor to high altitude military treks in Nepal.
“I love working in such a small, highly skilled and dedicated team, making a real difference out there to the local communities we serve.”
Outside of work Nicola enjoy cuddles and walks with Jessie, her Golden Retriever puppy, and holidaying with her husband anywhere scenic, especially if it’s on skis!
Chris has been with the charity as a doctor since 2014. He has lots of experience being a doctor on board an aircraft, having worked with London’s Air Ambulance and East Anglian Air Ambulance. He was also a military doctor in the British Army where he undertook two tours in Afghanistan.
“The thing that stands out at GNAAS is the teamwork. It’s what I love most.”
In his spare time, Chris enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter and also taking part in triathlons.
Theo Weston MBE
Theo has been a doctor at GNAAS for 15 years, joining the team way back in 2004.
“My favourite thing about working at GNAAS is the teamwork and camaraderie; it is the best organisation I have ever worked for regarding this aspect of the job.”
Outside of his role at a GNAAS, Theo is also a GP in Penrith, and volunteers his time as a BASICS responder, responding to serious medical incidents at the request of NWAS, in his own car and using his own kit.
When he’s not saving lives, Theo enjoys sailing, fell walking, cycling, skiing, DIY/gardening, playing the piano/guitar.
Phil has been a pilot with GNAAS since 2012. Prior to this, he spent 23 years in the Army Air Corps both as a ground soldier and a pilot. During this time, he saw operational service in Iraq, Northern Ireland, Bosnia and Afghanistan. In the Army, Phil flew Squirrel and Lynx helicopters.
“I was born in Cumbria, so to be able to fly in this area while being part of a team that makes such a difference to people is a great privilege. I do rely heavily on the flying experience I gained in the military.”
Phil is a keen golfer and enjoys mountain biking in his spare time. Read more about Phil here.
Mark joined GNAAS as a relief helicopter pilot in 2010 and covers for the charity’s permanent pilots when they are on leave.
His main day job is chief helicopter pilot at Multiflight and he is also a helicopter examiner and instructor at Multiflight.
“My favourite part about working for GNAAS is that we all work together as an effective team.”
Outside of work Mark enjoys dog walking, fishing and kayaking.
Nigel has been a pilot with GNAAS since Febuary 2021 and is primarily based in Teesside, but occasionaly works from our Langwathby base.
He was previously a paramedic in Northumbria Ambulance service, then joined the Army as an Infantry Officer, where he learnt to fly and did an attachment with the Army Air Corp. He left the Army to become a Project manager in Telecoms, but unfortunately was made redundant, so he rejoined the Army and taught recruits with The Infantry, then a desk job with Army Air Corps. After a tour of Afghanistan, he transferred to the RAF where he flew Search and Rescue, then left the forces and flew search and rescue in The Netherlands.
“By its very nature it’s a rewarding job, to be able to do it in the area I’m from is an added bonus. Also, as with all jobs, the people you work with can make or break it, luckily, they’re a good bunch…don’t know what they think about me though….”
Outside of work Nigel likes motorbike touring, hill walking, keeping himself fit and socialising.
Stu has been a relief helicopter pilot with GNAAS since 2018 and covers the full time pilots at both the Teesside and Langwathby bases, when they are on leave.
His main day job is a charter pilot for Multiflight charter pilot, and he previously worked for CHC helicopters out of Humberside, flying to the gas rigs off the Norfolk and East Yorkshire coast.
“I enjoy the variety of the role, and enjoy being able to use my helicopter flying to help others. It is always a challenge when we arrive overhead the scene to assess the nearest and best suitable landing site, every scenario is different and presents its own challenges.”
Outside of work Stuart likes fell running and road running. He also enjoys riding and tinkering with his motorbike, but most importantly he enjoys watching ‘the mighty’ Leeds United.
JJ Smith was chief pilot at the Great North Air Ambulance Service for six years before jetting off to pastures new. He flew in for a second time in 2022.
Originally from Perth in Scotland, he now resides just down the road from our Teesside airbase in Middleton St George.
JJ joined the military in 1985 and spent his first 11 years with the Royal Artillery. From there, he applied for a pilot course and then spent 12 years in the Army Air Corps.
His career has taken him around the world, but his favourite place to fly?
“The Lake District.”
On working at GNAAS, JJ said: “I get to do a job I love and work with people who deliver a great service. On top of that, we all work together effectively given our vastly different backgrounds.”