Doctors from heaven
Ashley McKimm finds out all about flying doctors
- By: Ashley McKimm
Some would say that his job resembles that of God. He arrives from the heavens to save the critically ill victims of road accidents, shootings, and bomb blasts. To injured people he is their guardian between life and death. Yet when Dr Stephen Oakey from London's Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) arrived at the scene of the Paddington train crash last October, not even God would have been prepared for what awaited him.
Based at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, Dr Oakey is one of the capital's “flying doctors,” who attend to some of the worst and most critical human casualties in Europe's largest city. On the day of the rail crash, the service's helicopter was out of service and Dr Oakey arrived at the incident by road. Once on scene he was immediately involved in the ominous task of searching for survivors. “I did a sweep of the