We chat to Catherine McMorrow, who is one of seven new members of the aircrew. Catherine is a Trainee Specialist Paramedic Critical Care. Here's how she got on board with DAA. 

What did you want to be when you were a kid?

I could never decide between a Canadian mountie or a Red Arrows pilot. At least the colour theme of red seems to have stuck!

When did you know you wanted to become a paramedic?

I have previously worked in Uganda. I worked in a non-clinical role but assisted with various medical emergencies. Despite at times being well out of my comfort zone, seeing the improvement in a individual's condition as a direct result of the medical team's intervention was incredibly rewarding. 

Can you describe your career journey to DAA?

On returning to the UK I applied for a student paramedic role in the London Ambulance Service. I was successful and gained my Paramedic qualification in 2011. I then continued working in central London until 2017 when I moved to Devon.

On joining the South Western Ambulance Service I became actively involved in training events arranged by Devon Air Ambulance and applied for a position when vacancies where announced. I'm very happy to say I was successful in the application process and am now a member of the team!

What is the most rewarding aspect of your work?

Meeting people from different walks of life and helping them through what is usually one of the worst days of their lives is one of the most rewarding aspects. Hearing that patients have gone on to make good recoveries from their illness/injury is the best job satisfaction there is.

What are the most challenging aspects of it?

We see a lot of trauma and despite our best efforts we aren't always able to save a patient's life or prevent life-changing injuries. Supporting patients and their loved ones through that can be very difficult, but as a team we look out for each other and crew welfare is top focus for every team member.

What are you most looking forward to about working with DAA?

Getting to know my new colleagues and train and work with them as part of a team that is focused on clinical advancement to improve patient outcomes. 

Can you name three qualities required of a paramedic?

You need to be a good communicator, be compassionate and be committed to continuous development. 

What advice would you give young people looking to follow in your footsteps?

Communication is a fundamental part of my job, I'd always recommend volunteering as a great way to meet people and gain some life experience. Work hard and don't be afraid of a challenge and most importantly, make sure you have some fun along the way!

We are proud to be a charity that is independent of government funding. 100% of our funds come from our fundraisers and supporters. This means we are very much a charity that is by and for the people of Devon. There are many ways to help keep your Air Ambulances flying, from fundraising, lending us your time as a volunteer, becoming one of our corporate supporters, remembering us in your will or becoming a lottery player