NOMINATE your heroes for this year’s Air Ambulance Excellence Awards.

The Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance team need you to vote for them in the upcoming awards, which honour the exceptional contributions of staff and volunteers within the UK’s air ambulance community.

After winning the prestigious Special Incident Award last year, the charity is hoping that their doctors, paramedics, staff, trustees and volunteers will receive even more nominations this year and become finalists in one or more of the nine categories on offer.

The categories include: Air Ambulance Paramedic of the Year; Air Ambulance Doctor of the Year; Air Ambulance Pilot of the Year; Air Ambulance Campaign of the Year; Charity Staff Member of the Year; Charity Volunteer of the Year; Lifetime Achievement Award; Outstanding Young Person Award and the Special Incident Award.

Tracy Bartram, Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance Communications Manager said: “This year, in addition to submitting nominations ourselves, we hope patients who have needed the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance, the public who have attended our events, those who have experienced our volunteers at work and members of our staff and crew will submit nominations themselves.

“It is not until a patient makes contact with the charity after needing our help that we get to hear the full details of their incident and indeed find out how their recovery is going. These awards give people an opportunity to do this and give recognition to the crew members which came to their assistance.”

Since its launch in 2000, the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance service have attended 10,000 incidents. Their yellow helicopter is based at Henstridge Airfield, between Sherborne and Shaftesbury on the Dorset and Somerset border and has saved many lives by rapidly transferring patients to the most suitable hospital.

The charity needs to raise £1.7 million a year to keep flying but doesn’t receive any direct funding from the government or the lottery fund.

The closing date for nominations is September 1 and the finalists of each category will attend an awards ceremony in London on November 17 where the winners will be announced.

To nominate an individual or group visit the Association of Air Ambulance website:

For more information call: 01823 669604