Paramedic Kit Von Mickwitz has already seen the way the Yorkshire Air Ambulance saves lives – and he has been a crew member for just three months.
The 25-year-old from Brackenhall has just started a two year secondment on the two helicopters and has had to go through a rigorous training programme to do so.
This has involved learning new surgical skills such as chest drains and tracheostomies to save lives when every second really counts. The Yorkshire Air Ambulance (YAA) paramedics can also administer more powerful pain relief drugs and drugs that can help people’s circulation if they have suffered a heart attack.
Kit said: “There have already been a couple of jobs I have been on where the YAA has made all the difference to the patient’s survival chances. The helicopters can get to remote areas such as the North York Moors or congested motorways in such a short time compared to how long it would take a fast response car or an ambulance to get there.”
Kit also works shifts in the YAA control room at Nostell Priory where they monitor all calls coming into Yorkshire Ambulance Service so can dispatch a helicopter immediately if they spot a scenario where it could be needed. They also get requests from ambulance crews on the ground and other emergency services who are first at the scene of an incident.
Kit was educated at Rastrick High School where he met Jemma White. The couple are now married and 26-year-old Jemma is a GP in Huddersfield but will soon be specialising in A&E medicine.
And Kit comes from a large family which has a strong medical leaning. Dad Christoph and mum Daz live in Brackenhall and they have four other children.
Kit has three other brothers. Diccon is a nurse at A&E at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary, Alex is a nurse in Germany training to be a doctor and Robin works in the healthcare sector. Sister Taru is an actress who also works as a trainer in the NHS.
After studying for a diploma in paramedic science at Northampton University Kit then worked in Leicester, Mansfield and north Nottinghamshire before transferring to the Yorkshire Ambulance Service and has worked in the Bramley area of Leeds where he has been on rapid response vehicles.
Kit is one of seven Yorkshire Ambulance Service paramedics chosen for a two-year secondment with the rapid response emergency charity following a rigorous selection process. The new recruits had to complete a tough three-week training programme that included underwater escape training, mountain and swift water rescue, navigation, air safety and new clinical skills.