Helicopter Emergency Medical Service

Helicopter Emergency Medical Service

What is HEMS?

The London Air Ambulance Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) provides rapid critical care for the most vulnerable patients in the most complex situations around London. With state-of-the-art aircraft, highly trained medical teams, and cutting-edge medical equipment, HEMS is dedicated to saving lives and improving patient outcomes while working alongside our colleagues in the London Ambulance Service.

The team, which can include a HEMS Doctor, Paramedic or both concurrently, performs advanced medical interventions, including but not limited to out-of-hospital surgical skills, blood transfusions, and advanced pain relief in time-critical, life-threatening situations. Common calls that HEMS will attend involve serious road traffic collisions, stabbings and shootings, and falls from heights where serious injuries have occurred.

The HEMS aircraft is equipped with the latest navigation and communication systems, allowing the medical team to reach patients quickly and safely, no matter where they are located in London. The aircraft is also equipped with a range of medical equipment, including a defibrillator, ventilator, and oxygen.

When not in the aircraft, HEMS also has access to an impressive fleet of vehicles that are well-equipped with cutting-edge medical equipment similar to that of the HEMS aircraft. Currently, we respond in either the HEMS Skoda Kodiaq, Helicopter or the HEMS Skoda Octavia.

How to get into HEMS and the requirements to join

To join HEMS you must wait for our recruitment cycle to open to be able to apply. Applications open on a regular basis.

The requirements to join HEMS are as follows:

  • Must be a Paramedic (You must have completed your 1 week probation as a Student Paramedic)
  • Must have completed the Paramedic Pain Management Package
  • Must have completed at least 1 HEMS CCP ride-along (
  • No Moderation Warnings/Bans within the last 6 weeks
  • Must be a driven individual with high standards
  • Must have Eagerness to develop and learn as a clinician
  • Be able to commit to a minimum of 8 hours deployed per month

What are the progression routes within HEMS?

We have many progression routes within HEMS. For those wishing to give back and act as a buddy for those aiming to join the division or even learn more about the division, we have our active HEMS Buddies team who provide ride-alongs for all those who request them, showing them what happens within HEMS and what calls we typically attend giving you more of an insight into HEMS.

Our training team acts as a perfect route for internal progression within the division as it provides a platform to train those entering HEMS and help to shape the future of the HEMS as a whole. It also provides you with the opportunity to apply for NHS Team Leader when applications are opened.

Further to this you can progress as a Critical Care Paramedic into becoming a HEMS Doctor. With this, our training will provides you with the knowledge and ability to complete more advanced skills at the roadside, allowing you to do treatments such as Fasciotomies and Amputations as well as medical techniques to help you out on the field such as Traumatic Cardiac Arrest Management (TCAM) and the HOTT Principles.

HEMS Doctors are capped within the division. Applications will open when additional Doctors are required.

Requirements for HEMS Doctor:

  • Be a CURRENT member of the HEMS team.
  • 50 hours deployed as HEMS
  • No current divisional strikes within the last 6 weeks.
  • No Moderation Warns/Bans within the last 6 weeks
  • Positive mature attitude towards problem solving and mentorship
  • Extremely clinically competent at CCP level
  • Broad knowledge around providing clinical care to medical/trauma patients
  • Experience at leading a team

If you are successful with your application, you will complete a training package with our team of trainers. After this you will need to go out on a doctor sign off ride along with a Team Leader+.

What training do we offer at HEMS?

HEMS currently have no additional training packages, however when you first join the division we teach you a range of new skills that further develop your skills within the LAS such as bone repositionings, emergency surgical airways (ESAs) or needle decompressions. We have an amazing team of buddies and trainers that can assist you throughout your journey as a Critical Care Paramedic in the HEMS team. Your skills will be further developed if you choose to apply to be a HEMS doctor which will allow you to take pre-hospital care to a new level. As a HEMS Doctor, you will be completing roadside surgeries out on the field, assisting other clinicians with the most critical of cases, you will learn new procedures that help stabilise patients within a pre-hospital environment.

When HEMS is open, you will find out in #open-applications via our discord server. You can click here to check and apply for HEMS Team

Meet our team

Nicola - (HE1)
HEMS Team Leader
Brandon - (HE2)
HEMS Team Leader
Apple23 - (OM2)
Operations Manager