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Saturday, August 1, 2015

U.K.’s Prince William Begins HEMS Career

Prince William has begun his career as a medical transport helicopter pilot. The Duke of Cambridge completed civilian training with the East Anglian Air Ambulance, headquartered in Norwich, about 120 miles northeast of London. His first day of work was July 13.

East Anglian Air Ambulance is a charity that provides critical care transport in the counties of Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk, and operates an Airbus EC135 T2 and EC145 T2. The Duke said he is donating his full salary to charity.

Prince William trained in multiple U.K. military branches. Originally having intended to serve in combat, he eventually became a flight lieutenant in the Royal Air Force and took on the duties of a search and rescue helicopter pilot after doubts arose that a member of the British Royal Family would be granted an active-duty combat assignment. He went on to fly the Westland WS-61 Sea King, a British variant of the Sikorsky S-61.

As a copilot on his first active-duty mission on Oct. 2, 2010, he helped airlift an apparent heart attack victim from an offshore gas rig in Morecambe Bay to a local hospital.

He was promoted from copilot to captain in June 2012, and continued on active duty until September 2013.

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