Flight and Paramedic Crew
OUR FLIGHT AND PARAMEDIC CREW ARE:
Captain Russell Myles -
Senior Pilot Russell Myles has been flying with Babcock Mission Critical Services (Onshore) Ltd. (formerly Bond Air Services) since 2006 and brings to SCAA almost 35 years flying experience in both fixed wing aircraft and helicopters.
He has flown aircraft ranging in size from a single seater WW2 fighter replica up to a 300+ seat Boeing 767 airliner and from the tiny R22 helicopter up to multi-engine heavy types. With over 10,000 flying hours, his helicopter experience includes police and ambulance flying, SAR and transport flying.
Russell has lived in Perthshire since 1999. A pilot since 1981, he took up the challenge of learning yet another new aircraft type and trained on the Bolkow 105 to join the charity air ambulance team.
"It is great to be involved in a brand new concept for Scotland."
"I am very proud to have been in at the start of SCAA and hope that we can do a good job and build a good base of experience and goodwill in the community for the future."
Russell is a Line Training Captain for the EC135 and this involves regular training and testing of paramedics and pilots at all three Scottish Ambulance Service helicopter bases.
Captain Nigel Clarke -
Pilot Nigel Clarke brings over 20 years of flying experience to his role at SCAA.
Originally from Wolverhampton, Nigel worked as a flying instructor and pilot with Helicopter Adventures in California for two years before leaving the golden shores of the Pacific Ocean for the demanding offshore work with Bristow Helicopters on the North Sea.
Two years later, Nigel moved to Babcock Mission Critical Services (Onshore) Ltd. (formerly Bond Air Services) and began his long connection with emergency services aircraft. Originally working with police and Helimed crews in Glasgow and Inverness, he then worked for 12 years with Humberside Police before transferring to SCAA.
“The job as pilot at SCAA gave me the opportunity to come back to Scotland to live and fly,” he said. “All aviation activities are team efforts - SCAA having to constantly raise funds to keep the aircraft flying highlights this strong and committed teamwork and I will enjoy playing my part.”
Nigel knows the benefit of the use of helicopters in primary care and the huge benefits of fast transfers in emergency but modestly claims that the paramedics “do all the work”.
John Pritchard -
John joins the SCAA crew as Paramedic Team Leader in the latest move of his 17 year career with the Scottish Ambulance Service.
John, who was recently awarded an MBE, was previously a Royal Air Force medic for seven years. He is also a pre-hospital care instructor and responder with BASICS Scotland.
"I'm hugely proud and honoured to be part of the SCAA team. This charity will greatly enhance the frontline emergency medical response provision currently available which will be to the benefit of patients, doctors, nurses, community responders and hospitals."
"SCAA is a major step forward in terms of patient care – especially in the more remote and rural areas, an air ambulance based at Perth Airport is a major asset for the people of Scotland."
Craig McDonald -
Craig worked with the Scottish Ambulance Service for 21 years before joining the Scotland's Charity Air Ambulance paramedic team in September 2014.
“It’s hugely rewarding when you can be part of saving or improving a life,” he said. “Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance has already made a massive difference to people across Scotland and it’s a real honour to be part of the team.
“The fact that so many other people give financially or freely of their time and effort to keep SCAA flying makes it even more of a privilege to work with them.”
Married with four children, Craig lives in Angus and was based in Forfar for the past 13 years as a paramedic, including work in the Rapid Response Unit.
“Working on Helimed 76 takes paramedic skills to a whole new level - literally - and I look forward to playing my part in making a real difference to people’s lives,” he said. “It’s fantastic that the air ambulance is there to respond at speed and transport people who need medical attention in remote and hard to reach places.”
Craig enjoys racquet sports and cycling but is equally happy relaxing and loves cooking on a barbeque for family and friends.
John Salmond -
John welcomes the “new and unique challenge” that working as a SCAA paramedic presents.
After 18 years with the Scottish Ambulance Service - working from initial patient transport and ambulance technician roles to the rank of paramedic - John decided to learn new skills and apply to be part of the SCAA crew.
“As a paramedic you want to see patients who are in need of medical attention getting help as quickly as possible and some can be many miles from the nearest ambulance or hospital - or be stranded in remote locations or in time-critical situations,” he said. “It is really satisfying to be part of a team that brings the rapid aid and transport required.”
John also welcomes the unique experience that being part of a charity will bring.
“I’m happy to get involved in promoting the charity wherever and whenever I can,” he said. “I feel very privileged to be with SCAA and am excited to see how I develop as an aircrew paramedic.”
Married with two sons, John lives in Arbroath where he is a member of the local cricket club. Other interests include running and general keep fit.
Graeme Hay -
Graeme joins Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance after a nine month spell with Helimed 2 in Inverness.
From Cullen in Banffshire, Graeme always wanted to be a paramedic and working with the air ambulance and its many challenges adds a whole new dimension to the job.
Graeme joined the Scottish Ambulance Service in 2009, initially as a technician based in Aviemore, before taking up the role of paramedic in Banff and Nairn.
A house move brought Graeme from his native north east to Perthshire - and to a timely job opening at SCAA.
“I learned a lot in my short time with the air ambulance in Inverness and I hope to bring those skills to SCAA and build on them,” he says. “The charity aircraft is a fantastic resource for Scotland and a wonderful asset for patients as it gets help to them quickly and airlifts them to the most relevant hospital in the shortest possible time. I also appreciate the fact that we work across the whole of Scotland and with all emergency services.
“I’m very proud to be part of the only charity air ambulance in Scotland - they’re a great team.”
Outwith work, Graeme enjoys cycling and keep fit and is a local Scout leader. He is also a Responder with BASICS Scotland and is studying for a BSc in Paramedic Practice - Critical Care, bringing a valuable new skills set to his work with SCAA.
Julia Barnes -
Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance has recruited its first female Air Paramedic.
Julia Barnes from West Lothian joins the crew of the country’s only charity-funded helicopter air ambulance with 20 years experience in the Scottish Ambulance Service. She is one of five SAS paramedics contracted by the charity to crew their frontline life-saving helicopter.
Julia worked with land ambulance crews in Livingston and Linlithgow and the Edinburgh-based Special Operations Response Team. She was also a SAS cycle responder during last year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
“The SCAA helicopter presents a new, exciting and challenging way for me to help deliver emergency care across the whole of Scotland,” she said.
“It has always been my ambition to work on an air ambulance,” added Julia. “Working with an airborne team to make a real difference to people most in need and deliver them to the most appropriate hospital in the fastest time possible.”
Prior to joining the Scottish Ambulance Service, Julia was a primary school teacher and outdoor pursuits instructor.
“It’s a real thrill to be the first female to join the two-year-old SCAA operation,” she explained. “I feel both humbled and proud to be chosen to work within this unique operation and hope to play my part in helping it grow from strength to strength.”
When she’s not working, Julia enjoys hillwalking, skiing, photography, stand-up paddle-boarding, DIY and looking after her four back yard chickens.