William’s praise for tireless dedication of air ambulance services

The Duke of Cambridge has sent his personal thanks to air ambulance crews across the country for saving lives every day, telling them the nation “owes you an enormous debt of gratitude”.

William, who was a helicopter pilot for the East Anglian Air Ambulance, praised the teams for their incredible work, tireless dedication and wonderful spirit, particularly during the coronavirus outbreak.

In a letter to the UK’s 21 air ambulance charities to mark Air Ambulance Week, the duke wrote: “The outbreak of Covid-19 has presented an immeasurably difficult challenge to all emergency responders.

“You have had to adapt to new ways of working throughout the pandemic — while continuing to provide a crucial lifeline to those who need it most.

“However, I know from experience that a wonderful spirit runs through the air ambulance community and I encourage everyone to continue to take time to support one another through these difficult times.”

William said: “I wanted to send my personal thanks to each and every member of the air ambulance community for the vital role you play in saving lives across the country every day.

“Having seen first-hand the incredible work of air ambulance teams both on the front line and behind the scenes, I hold a profound respect for all that you do.

William with the EAAA
The duke on his final shift with the East Anglian Air Ambulance in 2017 (Heathcliff O’Malley/The Daily Telegraph/PA)

“Whether you are part of the critical care team bringing vital medical support to patients when every second counts; an engineer who ensures that crews can be safely deployed at a moment’s notice; or a volunteer working to keep the service running, the country owes you an enormous debt of gratitude.”

Air ambulance charities are funded almost entirely by public donations, and William thanked those who have supported the vital emergency service during the pandemic.

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