Lifetime Achievement Award for LNAA pilot Chris
Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance (LNAA) pilot, Captain Chris Attrill, has been shortlisted for the Lifetime Achievement Award in the Air Ambulances UK ‘Awards of Excellence’ in recognition of his contribution to the air ambulance charity sector during his illustrious HEMS career.
Chris was born on the Isle of Wight but moved to Australia as a toddler. After a period serving in the Australian Army Infantry, he came to the UK and joined the Army Air Corps in 1983, and became a HEMS pilot, first flying with Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS), then the Yorkshire Air Ambulance (YAA) before joining LNAA.
LNAA colleague Dr Paul Hancock said: “With Chris flying, you know you are in a safe pair of hands. His experience of topography is unbelievable, he just knows the best places to land, which means it is one less thing for us to think about.”
Chris is known as the father figure at LNAA as he’s always looking out for the team, leaving chocolate bars and treats on desks when he can see they’re having a rough day.
Chris was part of the team that responded to the 2006 Dreamspace Disaster in Chester-le-Street, where a giant inflatable broke free from its moorings and flipped into the air, trapping people inside, and was also a member of the YAA crew responding to the Cumbria shootings in 2010, when gunman Derrick Bird killed 12 people and injured 11 others.
“Doing this job is a very humbling experience and on some days it’s just really very hard. With the Cumbrian shootings unfortunately every job that day was a fatality which was tough,” said Chris.
Chris has just retired from flying – for the second time, as he first retired aged 60 in 2018 in line with single pilot HEMS rules, however, he was not ready to stop work and trained to fly dual pilot operations to extend his flying career.
Once qualified, he joined Lincs and Notts Air Ambulance, flying until August of this year.
The Air Ambulances UK’s annual Awards of Excellence will take place at the Select Car Leasing Stadium, home of Reading FC, on November 30 2023, with nominees coming from air ambulances across the country, including
Wales Air Ambulance, Air Ambulance Kent Surrey Sussex, Midlands Air Ambulance Charity, London Air Ambulance, Cornwall Air Ambulance Trust, and Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance.