It is so humbling to listen to some of the stories, of those who had experienced difficulties in their life, yet overcame them to attain further education to better themselves.
Walking along the Thames Path from Kingston upon Thames towards Richmond upon Thames, a sight took me back to a story by Hans Christian Andersen, a story that was told to me as a small boy, and to a song sung by Danny Kaye.
Following the article Proud Moments at the Music Awards, I have put together a very simple video record.
From my home town of Kingston upon Thames, there is on the opposite bank of the River Thames the grounds of the Palace of Hampton Court, a largely open parkland area south of Bushy Park, the home of the Hampton Court Flower Show, and the historical Palace of Henry VIII.
A group of
Kingston upon Thames Rotary Club members, plus spouses, visited the Kent, Surrey and
Sussex HEMS service, based at the old RAF airfield, home of the BBC’s
Top Gear program, test track for the car manufacturer McLaren,
HEMS, (Helicopter Emergency Medical
Service), is operated every day of the year from 7am to 7pm in
daylight hours, with the hope in the near future to extend its’
service into night flying too, is an emergency response to medical
situations with a team of a pilot, a highly skilled doctor and a
critical care paramedic on board. We were told that this particular
HEMS team responded to 3 or 4 situations per day.
The service is a registered charitable
self funding organisation, covering the three counties of Kent,
Surrey and Sussex in conjunction with the NHS Ambulance Service which
merged the three counties into one service, and has two MD902
Explorer helicopters, one based in Marden (Kent) and the other at
Dunsfold (Surrey), and can reach any part of the SE England
operational area it was said in 20 minutes.
Taking A&E (Accident and Emergency) directly to a patient
within minutes has been proven a lifesaver, with even open heart
surgery being performed onsite, then to get the patient directly to
the most appropriate hospital in a sort time, affects the quality of
Constantly looking for and raising
funds to cover the £5 million per year cost is a host of volunteers,
as the service receives no funds from the Government or National
Lottery. For a small sum, you can enter the Kent,
Surrey and Sussex HEMS own lottery by filling in a form obtainable
from their web site.
The dedication of the people at
Dunsfold was obvious, as the pilot, doctor and paramedic took time
out to show us around the helicopter, explain what they do and answer
out multitude of questions. In the summing-up session back in the
HEMS building, I glanced outside to where the helicopter was parked,
only to see the three of them washing the already gleaming machine,
but having fun in the process. These lifesavers are just human like
you and me, and need our support just as we may need theirs one day.