Skipton paramedic says his feet are firmly on the ground despite Helicopter Hero role (From Craven Herald)
Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting CHNEWS to 80360, or email
Skipton paramedic says his feet are firmly on the ground despite Helicopter Hero role
3:21pm Thursday 5th September 2013 in News
Paul Kilner may have soared to TV stardom on Helicopter Heroes but he says his feet are still firmly on the ground.
The 36-year-old paramedic from Skipton has worked for the Yorkshire Ambulance Service for 13 years and has been on the helicopter for the last two years.
He’s become a star of the BBC TV series Helicopter Heroes, a fly-on-the-wall documentary that follows the work of Yorkshire Air Ambulance.
“I don’t see myself as a celebrity, I just see myself as someone out there doing a job to the best of my ability,” said Paul. “The other side of it is secondary, and it helps promote the work we do and the importance of the charity.
“One of the purposes is hopefully reminding people that it’s a charity and needs money to keep going.
“The TV show does help the charity make money; it does really well every time an episode goes out, donations go through the roof, which is a good thing.”
Paul says he’s got used to being followed about by a TV crew.
“I think with any job, if somebody was to say ‘we’re going to stick a camera in your face and watch what you do’, you might feel a bit of apprehension,” he said.
“But they’re very good at what they do, they become our friends and members of the team on the mission.
“We don’t really notice they’re there to be honest. It can be good to look back on what we do and learn from it.
“They don’t just air it straight away, we look over the editing as well to make sure we’re happy with it.”
The BBC has just started filming for the new series of Helicopter Heroes, which will be aired this autumn on BBC One.
Paul’s family and friends are all delighted at his success. “They’re probably more impressed and shout about it more than I do,” he said.
“They’ve always been very encouraging and supportive of my job and the importance of it.”
Despite the difficulties of dealing with terrible situations, Paul says he still enjoys the job. “We’re a very close unit, we’re all good friends,” he said. “It can be stressful, you can go to horrific things, but you can also go to good things.
“We always debrief and talk about things and reflect on what we’ve done, just to get rid of those thoughts you might have. It’s a challenge, but it’s just part of life. I’ve got quite a down-to-earth grounding.
“I like the variety, but also you’re having a big influence on someone’s life, on what’s possibly the worst day of their life. When you see that effect, when people come back up to the unit to see us, to say thank you for what we’ve done, that’s always nice.
“All the work that people do around Yorkshire, the events people hold to raise money, that shows the support for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance. It belongs to the people of Yorkshire.”
To donate to the Yorkshire Air Ambulance, go to yorkshireairambulance.org.uk.