A Wales Air Ambulance paramedic has been rewarded for 14 years of service on the charity’s North Wales helicopter, saving lives across Wales.

Carl Hudson, a Critical Care Practitioner on Wales Air Ambulance’s Caernarfon aircraft, received an award for 14 years of dedication to the service, first climbing on board the charity’s lifesaving helicopter in 2003.

The Welsh helicopter charity first launched on St David’s Day 2001, initially starting as a single-helicopter service operating from Swansea airport 5 days a week, and now has expanded into a four-helicopter operation serving Wales 365 days a year.

Two years after the charity’s launch, Wales Air Ambulance began a fundraising appeal to introduce an air ambulance into north Wales, and by July the charity launched a 5-day operation at Caernarfon airport, and with continued fundraising efforts the service increased to a 7-day service.

Carl joined the air ambulance service when the Welsh helicopter charity launched its operations in North Wales, and was one of the first paramedics to fly on board Wales Air Ambulance’s Caernarfon aircraft.

The paramedic has watched the service develop and grow over the course of 14 years and has also grown and developed himself, completing the training to become a Critical Care Practitioner in the ‘Welsh Flying Medics’ service.

The ‘Welsh Flying Medics’ is an enhanced service, bringing consultant-level doctors and Critical Care Practitioners onto Wales Air Ambulance to provide pioneering medical treatments at the roadside.

The service was first introduced onto WAA in 2015 as a phased-in operation, initially starting on the charity’s Llanelli and Welshpool aircraft. In August, the ‘Welsh Flying Medics’ expanded and the Critical Care Team will now fly on board WAA’s Caernarfon aircraft to cover North Wales.

As part of the ‘Welsh Flying Medics’ expansion into North Wales, Carl undertook extra training to become a Critical Care Practitioner with the service, to help fly the A&E department to the patient.

At the launch of the expansion, Carl was thanked for his outstanding contribution to the charity’s operations, serving the people of Wales for 14 years.

Carl was presented his award by Wales Air Ambulance trustee Dafydd Jones-Morris at the charity’s airbase in Caernarfon airport, to recognise his dedication to Wales Air Ambulance’s operations across the country.

Angela Hughes, Wales Air Ambulance Chief Executive, said: “We wanted to present Carl with an award to thank him for being Wales Air Ambulance’s longest serving crew member.

“Carl has been a part of our service since the birth of our North Wales operations, and he has flown thousands of missions, saving countless lives.

“We are incredibly honoured to present Carl with this award and thank him for his dedicated service to the people of Wales.”