Life Flight’s Air Ambulance Pilot Erin has generously shared her insights on what being part of the Life Flight team means to her….
I’m so honoured to be able to write to you and thank you for your invaluable support to Life Flight. It has been a dream of mine to work as a pilot for Life Flight, and thanks to you, I love going to work every day.
There are many challenges – the unpredictability, the last-minute calls, the changeable weather conditions. Most of these missions are unscheduled, and this means I’m kept on my toes all the time. As a Life Flight pilot, I have to deal with these operational challenge’s day and night. But I love it.
Taking this job was a big step up for me. I’m a trained pilot but working as a part of an air-ambulance team was a whole new environment to come to grips with. Here at Life Flight being a pilot isn’t just about flying a plane, it’s about taking care of the patient and making sure that all decisions we make are in the best interest of the patient. I help with loading and unloading patients, and I work alongside the Life Flight crewmember. This is part of my job as First Officer.
Helping people is the most fulfilling thing I’ve ever done. It’s incredible transporting patients back to their homes once they’re better, this is something I’ve been lucky enough to do a number of times now. The remarkable changes in demeanour and expression are incredibly heart-warming.
In my short time here at Life Flight, I’ve seen some very tiny babies. One of the most memorable missions I’ve flown so far was actually one of the first missions I did. I flew triplets’ home to Blenheim. It was so special to be a part of this homecoming with their mum and dad. It’s a memory I’ll always go back to.
I knew that this job was always going to be a challenge, and then COVID-19 came along! There’s a risk that we could have been infected, but this was unlikely due to the stringent cleaning procedures we had in place. The pandemic definitely slowed us down a little because of the cleaning procedures, wearing PPE, fogging of the plane, and wiping down the cabin surfaces. Thanks to you, however, we can continue to fly out as fast as we can and help as many people as possible.
I just wanted to thank you personally for ensuring Life Flight is here for those who need us. Your generous donations not only go to the upkeep and maintenance of our aircraft, but they also keep the teams flying.
It’s all thanks to you that we're here, doing what we do best, saving the lives of New Zealanders who need urgent care. Thank you for all that you do to ensure I can continue to do the job I love.
Have a safe and happy holiday.
Above: Erin at the controls of the Air Ambulance Plane. (Photo: Thanks to Lindsay Keats Photography for the great photo above and at top of page)
Above: Engineer Nick undertaking urgent maintenance work
Above: Crewman Logan carrying out vital decontamination measures during Covid-19