Trainee Specialist Paramedic in Critical Care, Jess Thomas, shares the experiences that have led her to join the Devon Air Ambulance team.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

When I was a kiddie I wanted to be a vet and work in Africa!

When did you know you wanted to become a paramedic?

I knew I wanted to be a paramedic around the age of 20 after I'd been working in hospitals and saw the road and aircrew bringing patients in.

Can you describe your career journey to DAA?

In my early teens I had a paper round and worked Saturdays in a party shop! When I reached 18, I started working in hospital as a healthcare assistant and then worked for the ambulance patient transport service. From this I applied for the 'in house' paramedic course and applied to university at the same time.

I was offered both and chose to complete my BSc at the University of Surrey. I then qualified and worked in Surrey before relocating to the South West. After working on the road here for just over a year, DAA were recruiting and I applied.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your work?

Making a positive difference to people's lives.

What are the most challenging aspects of your role?

Meeting patients and their friends/family at the most stressful and traumatic time of their life.

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

Getting to know the team and learning from them.

Which three qualities are required of a paramedic?

Being a proactive, emotionally resilient and a well-rounded person.

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

Work hard, be dedicated and remember to have fun!

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.