Air ambulance crew on Christmas Day standby

Anglia One crew Dr Jayne McKinlay, critical care paramedic Rod Wells and Pilot Neil Waller.
Anglia One crew Dr Jayne McKinlay, critical care paramedic Rod Wells and Pilot Neil Waller.
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As people across the region are opening their Christmas presents, the team at East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA) will be on call, ready to attend lifesaving missions.

EAAA is a helicopter emergency medical service which operates 365 days a year, which includes the whole of the festive season.

The crews in the Charity’s Norwich and Cambridge bases will be prepared to answer emergency calls all over East Anglia this Christmas, travelling out to any location in less than 25 minutes.

EAAA medics, Dr Vicky Smith and critical-care paramedic Gary Steward will both be on shift today (Thursday, December 25).

Dr Vicky Smith, who is from Norwich in Norfolk, has worked many times over Christmas and says she enjoys the festive spirit she gets from working with other medical staff.

Vicky said: “Last year I spent Christmas Day working at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. We celebrated with lots of chocolate and everyone got into the Christmas spirit by wearing elf ears.”

“This year I will be spending my ideal Christmas in the snow in Lapland. Although we aren’t going until after Boxing Day, we are planning to enjoy the time off and visit the Northern Lights.”

This year the Anglia One crew will be celebrating by cooking a festive breakfast in the morning which they will all be contributing to.

Critical care paramedic Gary Steward, has been working for EAAA since 2002 and is also used to working over the festive period.

Gary, who will be working with the Anglia Two team this year, said: “Christmas at EAAA is like working a normal day but with much more food; the crew are really looking forward to a Christmas fry-up this year.”

“My ideal Christmas is spent at home with my wife and two children who are aged 11 and 6. They are used to their dad working on Christmas as they know it is for a good cause. This year I will be working on Christmas night in the Cambridge base and then doing the Critical Care Desk night-shift on Boxing Day. We plan to finally celebrate Christmas after that!”

For more information on the work of the East Anglian Air Ambulance, visit or call 08450 669 999.

You can also follow the air ambulance team on Twitter at @EastAngliAirAmb or ‘like’ their Facebook page – East Anglian Air Ambulance Charity.