Published: 15th March 2024

Just when you thought the heroes onboard Wales Air Ambulance couldn’t do anything else to impress you – they’ve gone the extra mile once again (140.6 miles to be precise). 

Four medics will be taking on Ironman Wales to raise vital funds for the lifesaving charity. The Ironman team will consist of Critical Care Practitioners (CCPs) Caroline Arter, Ruby Thomas, Simon Cartwright and Mike Palmer and they are all hoping to raise £1,500 each. 

The air ambulance service in Wales is delivered via a unique Third Sector and Public Sector partnership. The Emergency Medical Retrieval and Transfer Service (EMRTS) supplies highly skilled NHS consultants and critical care practitioners who work on board the Charity’s vehicles.  

Initially it was Caroline’s idea to take on the ultimate challenge – Ironman Wales, a gruelling long-distance triathlon which consists of a 2.4-mile sea swim, a 112-mile hilly bike course and a marathon through the streets of Tenby. 

Ruby and Caroline love running marathons together and are looking forward to joining forces with Simon and Mike to be the ‘Wales Air Ambulance Ironman Team’.  

Caroline said: “We’ve got some really fit people in the CCP cohort. I thought ‘wouldn’t it be cool to put a team together’ and in my opinion it was only right and proper that we take on Ironman Wales. 

“I knew everyone would be keen and up for it. We’re all so busy on shift that this is a nice way to bring the team together on our days off, and a great way to fundraise.” 

 The team will be undergoing their training alongside their busy work life and 12-hour shifts.

Caroline, who is training as much as possible, continued: “I’ve done two Ironmans, they are amazing. I know it is a massive challenge, but the sense of achievement is huge so I thought why not, and I know the guys would absolutely love it. It will feel more special being able to actually raise money for the best cause ever by doing it.” 

Wales Air Ambulance is consultant-led, taking hospital-standard treatments to the patient and, if required, transferring them directly to the most appropriate hospital for their illness or injury. For the patient, this can mean hours saved when compared to standard care and is proven to greatly improve survival and early recovery. 

Ruby added: “I have done a few marathons before, and I love running. I have never swum or cycled so this is a big challenge for me. I love doing races with Caroline because we spur each other on. I’m doing Ironman Wales because I want to raise money for our Charity as well as it being a personal challenge.”

Dr Sue Barnes, Wales Air Ambulance Chief Executive said: “We are excited that our medics are taking on Ironman Wales. The fact that outside of their day job of saving lives they want to raise money for our cause is incredible. Caroline said she is hoping to do the charity proud, but our medics do that every single day. We wish Caroline, Mike, Ruby and Simon all the best as they take on this huge challenge and we hope our supporters get behind the team on the day.”

You can show your support to the Wales Air Ambulance Ironman team by donating to their JustGiving page