This Armed Forces Day (Saturday, 25 June), and in the week leading up to the event, individuals and organisations across the country have been showing their support for Armed Forces personnel and thanking them for all they do.

Magpas Air Ambulance—the lifesaving air ambulance charity based in Cambridgeshire—has many ties to the Armed Forces, with clinicians, aviation staff and even their trustee board having careers in the Armed Forces or connections to the services, while also being an integral part of the Magpas Air Ambulance team.

In the past two years, Magpas Air Ambulance has made a series of pledges and worked for accreditations to demonstrate the charity’s support for their colleagues in the forces; including singing the Armed Forces Covenant in 2021. The charity was also awarded the Silver Award in the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme—for organisations that pledge, demonstrate or advocate support to the Armed Forces community, and align their values with the Armed Forces Covenant.

The Magpas Air Ambulance rapid response vehicle with Armed Forces Day bunting1

The Armed Forces Covenant represents a promise to those who serve or have served, and their families, are supported and treated fairly—not just this Armed Forces Day, but every day. This means a lot to those within the charity that this applies to, such as Rupert.

Dr Rupert Hurry joined the army in 2000 and has worked with Magpas Air Ambulance for the past eight years—while still working as an Army Reserve. He’s now in a Medical Regiment within the Reserves and has served as recently as this year, helping to provide Medical Emergency Response Team (MERT) cover to troops in the Middle East.

When talking about Magpas Air Ambulance and its commitment to supporting Armed Forces personnel, Rupert explains “I always feel supported by Magpas Air Ambulance. Not only has the charity signed the Armed Forces Covenant to help demonstrate its support, but there are also a large number of regular, reserve and former military personnel working in the organisation.

“The medical service we provide as a charity also has a lot of synergy with our roles in the forces. For example, the knowledge and training we have is always being developed, we have lots of clinical exposure, we learn how to work well under pressure and communicate effectively when every second counts—all of which is hugely applicable to both my role at Magpas Air Ambulance and in the military, and we can take learnings away from both.”

Rupert in the helicopter

Magpas Air Ambulance’s Chief Executive Daryl Brown MBE DL, who is also Honorary Commander for the US Air Force, 423rd Medical Squadron of the 501st Combat Support Wing, summarises, “Magpas Air Ambulance has a really strong relationship with the armed forces, with a number of our founding doctors coming from army and RAF backgrounds. For over 50 years, this partnership has thrived—with Magpas Air Ambulance continuing to host many Armed Forces doctors, paramedics and flight crew—and many of our clinical and non-clinical staff are still current or former service personnel. We are committed to supporting them not just this Armed Forces Day, but every day.

“As well as signing the Armed Forces Covenant and working with the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme, we also have a partnership with our local medical reserve force (254 medical regiment), and are proud to have a reservists policy—which has been developed in consultation with our armed forces personnel. We also work closely with the US Air Force bases and international forces located in our region. We hope all of this supports our current workforce and will encourage other members of the forces to join this 24/7 lifesaving service.”

The Magpas Air Ambulance team will also be celebrating the contributions of the Armed Forces at RAF Wyton’s Families Day next weekend, where the charity’s operations base is situated.