Celebrating the lifesaving difference our paramedics make – International Paramedics Day

On Monday 8 July we will be celebrating International Paramedics Day and honouring the dedication of our specialist Helicopter Emergency Medicine (HEMS) paramedics, as well as all other paramedics, first responders and community volunteers across Kent, Surrey and Sussex, and around the world.  

The theme of International Paramedics Day this year is “The Difference We Make”, looking at the many ways all paramedics and first responders make a difference, from responding to life-threatening emergencies to providing care and comfort to patients in their hour of need.  

Our Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) paramedics, with their advanced critical care skills, work together with our charity’s highly trained doctors to jointly deliver specialist care to the most seriously sick and injured patients at the scene anywhere at any time. 

Each day our crews respond to an average of over nine emergency calls, giving people the best chance of survival and keeping families together.  

Dr Duncan Bootland, our Medical Director said: “Paramedics make a vital difference to the care that patients receive in many different clinical settings. That’s particularly true at KSS where, working alongside our doctors, pilots and dispatchers, our paramedics bring care that would normally be seen in an emergency department quickly to the scene of an incident.”  

Emma Parkhe, a HEMS Paramedic , likes the variety of work that her role brings: “The best thing about being a paramedic is that I never quite know what any day is going to be like. I love being a part of people’s journey to recovery as well. 

“I also enjoy working with the other crew members and the wider team of other emergency service colleagues and others.” 

Adam Ormrod, a HEMS Paramedic at KSS, joined the team 11 years ago after spending 12 years with South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb): “I joined the ambulance service as I thought it would be a job where I would be able to help people, and it would be interesting and different every day.  

“I love all the different parts of the job here, the camaraderie is great. I love working as a part of a small medical team, going out helping some really sick and seriously injured patients. I also really enjoy working with all the different groups of our emergency services colleagues, the police, fire brigade and our amazing colleagues in SECAmb as well as members of the public, first responders and community first responders. 

“If you’re thinking about becoming a paramedic, I’d say `go for it’. I’ve been lucky enough to have a great career. I’ve worked on ambulances, on response cars, on motorbikes, on our amazing helicopter. I also spend part of my working life working in a GP surgery, which is a very different challenge, but also really enjoyable.” 

International Paramedics Day was first organised by the College of Paramedics in 2022 in response to the tremendous personal sacrifices and life-saving efforts made by all those working in pre-hospital emergency care during the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic.   

The day is celebrated every year on July 8 because this marks the anniversary of the birth of Dominique Jean Larrey, the French military doctor who became Napoleon Bonaparte’s chief surgeon of the Grand Armee and the man often referred to as the ‘father of modern-day ambulance services’.  

Learn more about KSS and our work.

HEMS Paramedic Emma in front of an air ambulance
HEMS Paramedic Emma loves the variety of her role
HEMS Paramedic Adam
HEMS Paramedic Adam likes working with colleagues across the emergency services

Saving lives when every second counts

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