London: Prince William has written about his time as an air ambulance pilot, describing the job as one of “extreme emotion” with moments of “profound grief”.
He wrote a letter, published in the local newspaper, after flying his final shift with with the East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA) on Thursday night.
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William had been based at Marshall Airport, near Cambridge, as part of a team of specialist doctors, critical care paramedics and pilots providing emergency medical services across four English counties.
“Over the past two years I have met people from across the region who were in the most desperate of circumstances. As part of the team, I have been invited into people’s homes to share moments of extreme emotion, from relief that we have given someone a fighting chance, to profound grief,” he wrote.
“I have watched our medical team perform surgery on a patient within minutes of jumping off the helicopter – their level of skill is astounding. These experiences have instilled in me a profound respect for the men and women who serve in our emergency services, which I hope to continue to champion even as I leave the profession. I am hugely grateful for having had this experience.
“From the moment I joined, when that phone rang at the base for the first time, it was clear that I was a fellow professional, a pilot with a job to do – in such a team there can be no other option, but still I am grateful to my colleagues for accepting me so readily.”
He joined EAAA in March 2015 and, after completing an initial period of job-specific training involving simulator, aircraft and in-flight skills, he began piloting his first operational missions in July 2015.
A statement issued by Kensington Palace earlier this year said William and Kate wanted to increase their official duties on behalf of the Queen and their charity work, which would mean spending more time in London.