Former air ambulance chief 'humbled' by Honours List inclusion

Patrick Peal, chief executive of the East Anglian Air Ambulance. Picture by SIMON FINLAY.

Patrick Peal, former chief executive of EAAA is to be made an MBE - Credit: Archant Norfolk

The former chief executive of the East Anglian Air Ambulance was "gobsmacked" to learn of his inclusion in the Queen's Birthday Honours List.

Patrick Peal helped to found the charity at the turn of the century, serving as its deputy chairman for 11 years and chief executive from 2014 until last year.

The 68-year-old, who lives in Southrepps, near Cromer, is to be made an MBE in the honours list after being nominated by colleagues at EAAA - and attributed his inclusion to "fantastic efforts of a fantastic team".

The father-of-three and grandfather-of-one said: "The fact some of my friends and former colleagues took the time to go through the nomination process for me is truly humbling.

"When I opened my letter from the Cabinet Office I had to have a sit down as it was quite a lot to take in - I was gobsmacked."

Since it was founded in 2000, the charity has completed more than 33,500 life-saving missions across East Anglia and in his final year of service it was able to achieve his lifelong ambition of 24/7 service.

He added: "Receiving this accolade is humbling. EAAA would not be held in such high regard and give so much back to the community if it wasn't for the hard work and dedication of each and every member of the team, so I feel this award is a tribute to all our staff, volunteers, supporters and patients.

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"From front line doctors, paramedics and pilots, to ground staff working, we have achieved great things together, by committing, sharing the same vision and respecting one another."

During his time in charge, the charity also introduced an aftercare service, which keeps in touch with patients and their families after they have flown to their rescue.

Patrick Peal, former East Anglian Air Ambulance chief executive, who has been made an MBE

Patrick Peal, former East Anglian Air Ambulance chief executive, who is to be made an MBE - Credit: EAAA

Mr Peal added: "Often it’s the family of patients that need emotional support when a loved one has been attended to by EAAA - whilst the patient may not recall the incident, for those around them the trauma can be hard to manage.

"We introduced a programme with a team of highly trained and caring staff with extensive nursing experience to help ‘fill in the gaps’ about what happened at scene, and also to signpost services to help patients re-establish a normal life."