Life-saving air ambulance crew touch down for turkey dinner

From Left: Dr Zulfi, Paramedic Tracey Alden, Paramedic Andy Colledge, Head of Fundraising Sarah Williamson, Pilot Alf Gasparro
From Left: Dr Zulfi, Paramedic Tracey Alden, Paramedic Andy Colledge, Head of Fundraising Sarah Williamson, Pilot Alf Gasparro

An air ambulance crew enjoyed a turkey dinner with all the trimmings on Christmas day thanks to the generosity of villagers.

Thames Valley and Chiltern Air Ambulance is on call 365 days a year to ensure that the vital lifesaving service is available anyone, no matter where or when they need it.

From Left: Paramedic Andy Colledge, Publicans Tank and Alison, Paramedic Tracey Alden, Pilot Alf Gasparro and Head of Fundraising Sarah Williamson PNL-150201-130524001

From Left: Paramedic Andy Colledge, Publicans Tank and Alison, Paramedic Tracey Alden, Pilot Alf Gasparro and Head of Fundraising Sarah Williamson PNL-150201-130524001

A doctor, a paramedic and a pilot touched down in a field in Stone to enjoy a quick festive lunch at the Rose & Crown pub in Oxford Road.

Landlady Alison and Landlord Tank wanted to thank the air ambulance for the service on behalf of the village after the helicopter saved on of the residents last year.

Alison said: “We all want to be with our families on Christmas Day, but the air ambulance team are there to keep us all safe.

“Everyone at the Rose & Crown was very pleased to welcome the guys and thank them for the amazing work they do.

“We also managed to raise £160 on the day, just from our patrons putting donations into a bucket on the bar.”

Pilot Alf Gasparro, Dr Zulfi and paramedics Tracey Alden and Andy Colledge enjoyed the quick meal and joined in with the festivities before heading back to the chopper.

Alf said: “We want to thank Alison and Tank for opening their pub and cooking us some turkey.

“We got to enjoy our Christmas Day and are humbled by their generosity.”

The air ambulance operates 12 hours a day, 365 days a year and on average, the air crew are called out three times a day to emergency missions involving road traffic collisions, equestrian and sporting accidents and the onset of acute illnesses such as heart attacks and strokes.

Each mission costs more than £2,500.

Moments after taking off to head back to base after lunch, the team were called out to a cardiac arrest in Berkshire. The patient is now making a good recovery.