Paul Maskell joined Cornwall Air Ambulance as a trainee Critical Care Paramedic in early 2020. Here he explains what it has been like to join the crew and learn on the job during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Having worked alongside the Critical Care Team over the years as an Operations Officer at incidents, I had a lot of respect for them. Joining Cornwall Air Ambulance has been an honour and the pinnacle of my ambulance career.
I have loved joining the team and they have all made me feel extremely welcome. They are very helpful and supportive in helping me learn both the new aviation and clinical skills. Over the years I have flown in various helicopters, such as search and rescue and the police, so my first flying shift was not too daunting. Although, growing up in Cornwall and thinking I knew my way around, it is very different navigating from the skies.
Having spent the last 12 years as an Operations Officer I am really excited to move back to a more clinical focused role in critical care and be able to provide enhanced care to the patients we serve. I am enjoying increasing my knowledge and skills both from the team I work with and the Critical Care MSc pathway through Plymouth University.
Joining the team with the current Covid-19 pandemic has certainly added a challenging dimension. Some of our training has had to move to virtual and scenario based. The current guidelines will also limit some of our patient contact experience as the cockpit has to remain sterile, so only one of the clinicians will don PPE to attend the patient. Predominately this has to be the qualified Critical Care Paramedic, so that the patient always receives optimum care. This could lead to a delay in becoming qualified, but it is just part of the constant change we are all experiencing in this unprecedented time.
It is so great to be part of the team here at Cornwall Air Ambulance and in almost 20 years’ service I have never been so keen to come to work.”