Cambridgeshire

Prince William pilots four air ambulance rescue missions in first week

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge with East Anglian Air Ambulance Image copyright PA
Image caption Prince William flies the Airbus H145 based at Cambridge Airport

The Duke of Cambridge flew four active rescue missions during his first week as a co-pilot with the East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA).

The duke's first shift began at Cambridge Airport on Monday morning.

He flew to his first incident in Garboldisham in Norfolk on Tuesday.

On Wednesday the prince was deployed to Felixstowe in Suffolk and to Colchester, Essex. His final mission of the week was on Thursday, to Wisbech, Cambridgeshire.

"Patient confidentiality" prevented the EAAA giving details of some incidents, however the life-saving mission to Felixstowe involved a man in his 50s who had suffered a cardiac arrest.

'Very worthwhile'

After being treated at the scene the patient was airlifted to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

Prince William completed a civilian pilot course in September before taking dedicated 999-response training in order to take up his role with the air ambulance service.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Capt Dave Kelly and Prince William on his first day at work at Cambridge Airport

The former RAF helicopter pilot's duties will cover incidents in Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire.

On Monday the prince admitted to "feeling the nerves" as he began his first nine-and-a-half hour shift as co-pilot alongside medical staff.

However, he added: "It's sort of a follow-on from where I was in the military with my search and rescue role.

"There are many of the same kind of skills and a job like this is very worthwhile, valuable and there's an element of duty."

Image copyright PA
Image caption Cambridge Airport is about 60 miles from the prince's home on the Sandringham estate in Norfolk

The prince's shift pattern is expected to be four days on, four days off, but will take into account his official royal duties.

Bond Air Services operates the air ambulance on behalf of the EAAA and the prince is being paid a salary which he is donating to charity.

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