Top honour for founding member of East Anglian Air Ambulance
- Credit: Archant © 2010
A founding member of the East Anglian Air Ambulance has been awarded the sword of honour for his contribution to air aviation.
Gerry Hermer, 73, was presented the award by The Honourable Company of Air Pilots at a ceremony at the Guildhall, London.
Mr Hermer's career spans more than five decades, where he began as a search and rescue pilot for the Royal Air Force.
In 1977, he was awarded the Air Force Cross by the Queen after he rescued the crew of a sinking German ship 70 miles off the Yorkshire coast at Flamborough Head.
After moving to Norfolk in 1979 with RAF, Mr Hermer founded the first Norfolk Police helicopter unit in 1990 and started the East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA) with Andrew Egerton Smith current chief executive Patrick Peal in 2001.
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EAAA operates two high-tech helicopters from its Norwich and Cambridge bases every day of the year.
The charity's doctor and critical-care paramedic teams treat patients at the scene of an accident or emergency, before transferring patients to the appropriate hospital rapidly.
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One of its most well known pilots is Prince William, who had flown the air ambulance for two years before he left the role in 2017.
'It's a great organisation,' said Mr Hermer. 'When I started it with Andrew Egerton Smith and Patrick Peal I never dreamt it would get to where it is now, and have someone from the royal family flying it.'
Patrick Peal said: 'Having known and worked with Gerry for around forty years I can say he is modest and unassuming yet meticulous, forward-thinking and passionate about helicopter operations.
'This prestigious award is richly deserved and we at East Anglian Air Ambulance are delighted for him.'