New lead paramedic takes up top role

A dedicated paramedic with Cornwall Air Ambulance has reached the pinnacle of his career by being appointed lead aircrew.

Steve Garvey, who has worked on the aircraft for two years as a paramedic delivering pre-hospital care, was appointed to the role earlier this month.

All of the coveted places within the aircrew team are important, but Mr Garvey will also take responsibility for leading the crew, as well as be the key point of contact for the South Western Ambulance Service Trust and Bond Air Services to help ensure the smooth running of the operations.

Steve Garvey, who is currently studying for a BSc (Hons) in Emergency Care said: “This is probably the finest moment in my career with the ambulance service.

“I work on the best aircraft in the country, and now my new role involves stepping into the management team to help ensure we continue our commitment to delivering the very best pre-hospital care to our patients.”

Paula Martin, chief executive for Cornwall Air Ambulance Trust said “Steve is very motivated and keen to work with the charity to continually improve the service capability of the air ambulance and the skills of it’s crew.

“I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate him on this well-deserved appointment to lead paramedic”.

Neil Lentern, the outgoing lead paramedic on the Cornwall Air Ambulance has recently been successful in applying to become a clinical tutor for the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust and in future will only fly on the aircraft occasionally.

Steve Small, the (SWAST) Operations Locality Manager for West Cornwall, said: “I would like to thank Neil for his commitment to both the aircraft and charity for the past two years. The air ambulance has been in a very safe pair of hands, but now quite rightly, Neil can look forward to the next stage of his own career development and we wish him every success”.

Cornwall Air Ambulance enjoys excellent support from the South Western Ambulance NHS Foundation Trust.  

A spokesperson for the new ambulance foundation trust in the South West said: “We remain committed to provide a fully seconded aircrew to staff the Cornwall air ambulance with some of the most skilled paramedics in Cornwall”. 

The helicopter currently flies 12 hours each day, with two paramedics and one pilot on duty. The helicopter itself, and every mission it flies, it funded almost entirely through public donations and community fundraising.