On the 25th October, one of EAAA’s founding member’s Gerry Hermer, received this year’s Sword of Honour from the Honourable Company of Air Pilots. Gerry was instrumental in the initial set up of East Anglian Air Ambulance, but his dedication to the whole aviation industry spanned more than five decades.
Gerry originally worked as an Engineering Officer in the Royal Air Force before training as a Search and Rescue pilot. He flew the Wessex and the Sea King and also qualified as an instructor on Gazelles. He was awarded the Air Force Cross in 1977 for rescuing the crew of a sinking German ship over 70 miles off Flamborough Head. After his distinguished military career Gerry established two successful aviation businesses based in Norwich.
The first HEMS mission for EAAA was flown in 2001, and at that time we were a one day a week service. Gerry has been instrumental in the growth of EAAA, supplying aircraft and pilots for over 10 years. Despite ‘retiring’ Gerry continued working with EAAA as the Aviation Consultant and was central in moving the charity forward. Gerry’s expert knowledge and experience enabled him to pursue continuous improvements to the safety and efficiency of the service. Not only was his commitment to EAAA unrivalled, but his desire to improve the UK air ambulance community has been tremendous. It was Gerry’s tenacity which helped push forward the introduction of night HEMS missions in May 2013, a new operational capability to the UK.
Gerry only recently retired but will still pop in to visit the service he helped build. He is such a worthy winner of this award, and we are delighted to see him receive the recognition he deserves for all his hard work. Patrick Peal, Chief Executive at EAAA 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.”
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