‘I’ve watched people dying in front of me’ – Eltham officer abseils for Air Ambulance – News Shopper
An Eltham police sergeant has abseiled down the Royal London Hospital to raise money for the Air Ambulance service.
The Air Ambulance is a charity that delivers an advanced trauma team to London’s most seriously injured patients.
The team, consisting of an advanced trauma doctor, paramedic and consultant on most missions, can perform treatments such as open heart surgery, blood transfusions and general anaesthetic by the roadside.
Sergeant Catmull, said: “As a Police Sergeant in Eltham, the Air Ambulance has helped me and my officers out countless times.
“I’ve watched people dying in front of me, taking their last breathe whilst we’re trying to help them. Then hearing the amazing sound of a helicopter overhead and feeling an instant rush that everything will be ok.”
The Air Ambulance see the most disturbing and horrific crime scenes, however despite being a charity and not an NHS run system, they save thousands of lives every year.
She said: “I was excited to arrive at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel on September 15 where I had first worked as a PC 16 years ago.
“I watched the volunteers ahead of me dangling off the tallest helipad in Europe and couldn’t wait to have a go!
“After putting on the hardness and helmet I was escorted up to the 17th floor.”
Sgt Catmull said the views were amazing and the weather was perfect.
She continued: “It wasn’t until I was attached to the rope and I leant back off the building did I suddenly realise how high I was.
“Immediately I felt the fear rush through me and I was petrified to move.”
Sgt Catmull said she looked down which made it a lot worse but decided that she didn’t want to let anyone down.
She said: “I honestly couldn’t believe how scary it was.
But a few minutes later I could see the floor was finally getting closer.
LAA provide intervention as quickly as possible after injury, and aim to give patients the best chance of survival, and best quality of life, after trauma.
They serve the 10 million people that live work and travel within the M25, treating an average of five patients every day.
Sgt Catmull continued: “I was so happy to be on the ground again with the hardness being taken off me.
“It was an amazing experience, with lovely people and for an extremely worthwhile cause. I am very glad I took part, but in future I am happy to stand rattling a bucket to raise money!”
The police sergeant set up a GoFundMe page in July and all together the event raised £103,000.
Jonathan Jenkins, CEO of London’s Air Ambulance, said: “A huge thank you to Marianne and the 260 supporters who took part in this year’s abseil event.
“As a charity, we rely on donations from the public so our teams can continue to help people in their hour of need. Events such as this not only raise valuable funds, but as we mark our 30th anniversary in 2019 also help publicise that we rely on charitable donations to continue the life-saving work our teams carry out every day in London.
“Thank you to all those who have taken part in the abseil or are supporting it. We simply wouldn’t be able to save lives without you.”