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Air ambulance quartet prove that women can fly high

Female crew members work on the iconic ambucopter..
Female crew members work on the iconic ambucopter..

Female crew members of the Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Ambulance took to the skies on the same shift to mark International Women’s Day.

Co-pilot Anna Loake, clinical lead Dr Susan Dashey and paramedic Jane Pattison hopped on board the charity’s iconic, yellow ambucopter.

Dr Susan Dashey and co-pilot Anna Loake ready to start their shift on board the ambucopter.

Dr Susan Dashey and co-pilot Anna Loake ready to start their shift on board the ambucopter.

And they were joined by chief executive Karen Jobling to celebrate the achievements of women in industries and jobs that used to be dominated by men.

“It’s great that traditionally male-orientated roles, such as pilots, doctors and paramedics, are increasingly being undertaken by women,” said Karen, a former RAF officer who has a keen interest in aviation.

“Our crew are certainly great role models for youngsters, both boys and girls, and it would be good to see more females on board the ambucopter in the future.

”As few as five per cent of commercial helicopter pilots are female. But we hope that through the service Anna and the rest of the female crew deliver, many more young girls and women will be inspired to break with tradition and consider a career in aviation.

Karen Jobling, who is chief executive officer of the air ambulance charity.

Karen Jobling, who is chief executive officer of the air ambulance charity.

“I hold a private pilot’s licence myself. It is immensely rewarding and is something that shouldn’t be overlooked by women.”

Karen has more than 25 years’ experience in the charity sector, and has been at the controls of the Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance for two years, during which time it has made huge strides.

Anna joined the charity last summer and has already flown many emergency missions, landing in everything from fields and car parks to the racetrack at Cadwell Park in Lincolnshire and next to a swimming pool at the Butlins holiday resort in Skegness.

After graduating from university, she spent ten years in the fashion industry, but changed careers when, by chance, she saw a poster for helicopter lessons in her local gym.

Jane Pattison, who is a paramedic on the ambucopter

Jane Pattison, who is a paramedic on the ambucopter

“I started helicopter flying as a hobby initially, but soon started to consider it as something I could actually do for a living,” Anna said.

Susan, who is a consultant in anaesthesia and intensive-care medicine, is also a vital member of the air ambulance team, having previously worked in Australia with the Sydney Helicopter Emergency Medical Service.

“I am proud to be part of the clinical crew,” she said. “It is such a rewarding job and no two days are ever the same.

“I manage to juggle my roles with a very active three-year-old child, two Labradors and a very understanding partner!”

Paramemedic Jane joined the ambulance service back in 2004 and was the only female on the ambucopter crew until last year.

“It’s nice to have women to talk to, but we are all part of a really close-knit team,” she said. “Men and women work exceptionally well together, delivering excellent patient-care.”