Flight Lieutenant Simon Walton is the Commanding Officer of 2192 (Appleby) Squadron and the Wing Deputy First Aid Officer.
He joined the organisation as a Cadet at Appleby and progressed to the rank of Cadet Warrant Officer before starting his adult volunteer service as an Adult Sergeant at 1127 (Kendal) Squadron. Later, he was Commissioned into the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve where as a Flight Lieutenant he commanded Kendal Squadron. He moved back as OC Appleby in October 2015.
Simon Qualified as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) with the North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) A full time career, serving on the A&E ambulances working out of Brough.
In 2015 he volunteered for extra duties as an Ambulance Liaison Officer with NWAS
Here is Simon’s Story:
I worked as the Ambulance Liaison officer at the Cumberland Infirmary throughout the Friday-Sunday period when the storm Desmond hit.
Monday -Tuesday and Thursday night saw me out on the road in and around Carlisle in the ambulance my role as an EMT. As you can imagine, the Emergency Services are put under particular strain during events such as the floods so it was an intense and busy time for all of us.
I have to say had it not been for my leadership and management training and experience, which I obtained both as a cadet and later as staff in the Air Training Corps, the events in the hospital would have been I feel totally overwhelming.
Man management and having the confidence to make instant and correct decisions proved invaluable and this was from years of leadership training and opportunities to implement that training. This, combined with the excellent training given by NWAS gave me a real advantage.
Even my previous use of radios in the corps was also useful!
When I was back on the road, a “blue light” run to Heads Nook, East of Carlisle,which would normally take 15mins took over 50! This showed the difficulties caused by the devastation left by Storm Desmond.
My map reading skills, learned once again through the corps, came in particularly handy due to several bridges and roads still being out of action.
I even mentioned the fact I have my Bronze Duke of Edinburgh award to the Dispatcher in Control, he laughed as he also is another volunteer staff member with the Air Training Corps, our very own Flying Officer Darren Norris the Cumbria and Lancashire Wing Vocational Skills Officer!
I think the only skills I didn’t use were my weapons training and parade drill!
After the waters receded in Appleby I was presented, along with some of my Squadron Cadets, to HRH Prince Charles when he visited to town to inspect the damage caused by the floods. A real honour.