We are so thrilled to have been shortlisted as a finalist in four categories at this year’s Air Ambulance Awards of Excellence. These annual awards, organised by Air Ambulances UK, celebrate and recognise the specialist life-saving skills and commitments of those within the air ambulance community.

Unit Chief Pilot Mario Carretta

Captain Mario Carretta has been our Unit Chief Pilot since 2017 and is shortlisted as a finalist in the Pilot of the Year category. During his six-and-a-half years with us, Mario has flown more than 1,000 missions, enabling our critical care team to reach and treat many hundreds of critically ill and injured patients. Mario’s exemplary airmanship is not the only reason why we nominated him; his unfaltering dedication to patient need is incredible, whilst his professionalism and innovative ideas have not only benefitted the people of Dorset and Somerset, but air ambulance services and their patients across the UK. 

Advanced Practitioner Matt Sawyer

Advanced Practitioner Matt Sawyer has been recognised in the Critical Care Practitioner of the Year category making the final shortlist. In the past 12 months, Matt has demonstrated excellent clinical standards in delivering the highest possible quality of medical care to patients. Through his leadership and role modelling, he has trained, educated, inspired and supported the whole team to extend the content of patient advocacy to new levels. Matt has taken on a multitude of projects, devoting significant time (often on a voluntary basis) to enhancing our operations. He is a wonderful patient advocate and clinical innovator, who inspires everyone to achieve more for patients every day.

Lottery Manager Caroline Guy

Caroline Guy is our Lottery Manager and the longest-serving employee of the charity, having worked for DSAA for 18 years. She has been shortlisted in the Charity Staff Member of the Year category for her immense dedication to our cause, innovative ways of working and her dynamic yet caring nature as a manager to her very small team. Caroline has worked and led with such modesty that it would be all too easy to overlook her huge contribution to saving lives, not only for the past 18 years, but for many years to come through the foundations she has built generating income for the charity through the lottery and committed giving schemes.

Saving Lives at Glastonbury

This year’s Campaign of the Year sees Team DSAA become a finalist for our Saving Lives at Glastonbury initiative. The campaign brought together three different organisations (DSAA, South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust and Resuscitation Council UK) with a shared objective to save lives. The core aim of the campaign was to empower those attending the world-famous Glastonbury Festival, to act in an emergency by learning how to perform CPR and how to use a defibrillator to save someone’s life following a cardiac arrest. 

Charles Hackett, our Chief Executive Officer said:

We are delighted to be recognised in four categories at this year’s Air Ambulance Awards of Excellence. Charities are built on the combination of steadfast commitment and continual innovation. The individuals and campaign which have been recognised at a national level bring both of these together, for our patients, their families and for the wider public that we interact with. To be nominated by your peers is very special and highlights those who have gone above and beyond. We look forward to finding out the winners in November.

A full list of the award categories and those who have been shortlisted can be found by visiting: www.airambulancesuk.org/shortlist-announced  

The winners will be announced on the evening of Thursday 30th November.