Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance shortlisted for Awards of Excellence!

September 16, 2014 by Tracy

Picture kindly taken by Justin Glynn: and Somerset Air Ambulance is delighted to announce that it is represented in three categories at this year’s Air Ambulance Awards of Excellence. The shortlisted nominees were announced on Friday by the Association of Air Ambulances and the winners will be revealed at an awards ceremony to be held on 17 November at the Millennium Gloucester Hotel, London.

Doctor Phil Hyde has been shortlisted in the Air Ambulance Doctor of the Year category.  Phil has been working with Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance for the past two years.  He is a Consultant Paediatric Intensivist at the University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust and the director of Paediatric Major Trauma for the Wessex Major Trauma Centre. 

Doctor Phil HydePhil has worked intensively with the aircrew paramedics enhancing their skills and knowledge.   His expertise and recommendations for new procedures and equipment has been instrumental in the Charity’s continuing clinical development. His most recent project includes the joint working between the Paediatric Retrieval teams, Hospitals, Air Ambulance Charities and Ambulance Services to deliver the best possible patient care in a structured, unambiguous, consistent manner with an aim to deliver the ultimate in patient care.  As Chair of the Curriculum Committee of the Intercollegiate Board for training in pre-hospital emergency medicine, his influence is felt not only at a local and regional level but also nationally. Captain Phil Merritt

Captain Phil Merrit represents the charity in the Air Ambulance Pilot of the Year category.  Phil’s enthusiasm extends into every facet of his role and his contribution to the Charity extends far beyond simply flying the aircraft. The high standard of his briefing, awareness of the requirements needed for critical care patients and his constant readiness to assist in all manner of situations makes him an integral part of the team. In the autumn of 2011, Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance accepted the Airbox ™Moving Map system into operational service. Phil played an instrumental part in not only testing and developing the product but also gave a clear description of the issues that needed to be addressed.  He provided clear and consistent critique during subsequent development iterations and input and recommendations on the way the product could be further improved to benefit other air ambulances.

As a Line Training Captain, Phil provides training for other pilots enabling them to gain their initial HEMS pilot training. In this role he has also been instrumental in the development of the night flying training package for the HEMS air ambulances across the country.  

Volunteers Pam and Fran EamerDorset and Somerset Air Ambulance volunteers Pam and Fran Eamer have been shortlisted for Air Ambulance Charity Volunteer of the Year.  The married couple, who are 70 years young, became volunteers just over 4 years ago.  Not having volunteered before, they took to their tasks like a fish to water and have become one of the most highly respected ambassadors for the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance in the area.  They are constantly on the go, supporting fundraising initiatives and events, attending cheque presentations and servicing around 100 charity collection boxes across the Dorset area.

Bill Sivewright, Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance Chief Executive Officer said, “In highlighting individuals in this way, we hope to shine a light on the fantastic work that is done by everyone at Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance. We are all particularly proud of the fact that this has been recognised at a national level”.

The independent judging panel met on 10 September and considered all entries made across the nine categories. Guy Opperman MP, Chairman of the Judging Panel, commented, “It is a real privilege to read about the enormous expertise and dedication of the people working in the air ambulance sector, and judging these awards has quickly become one of the highlights of my year.

“This year’s Awards entries were truly outstanding and it was a very difficult task to choose the shortlists. Each and every nominee is clearly an exceptional individual or team, and I would like to thank all of them for their hard work. However, we have narrowed down the field and now look forward to the winners being announced in November, when we will celebrate the dedication and commitment of all those involved in the work carried out by UK air ambulance charities.”

A full list of categories and all those shortlisted as finalists can be viewed by visiting the Association of Air Ambulances website: