PRINCE William predicted “scary” times ahead next year as he told of the pressures he once felt as an air ambulance pilot.
The Duke of Cambridge, who spent two years flying to emergencies, spoke of worries over the coming months.
He said: “This has already been an extraordinary year. The months ahead will no doubt be uncertain and at points scary.”
Wills, 38, spoke out on Emergency Services Day after launching an initiative to help the mental health of 999 workers.
He also told of the upset he felt during his time with the East Anglian Air Ambulance.
Addressing an audience at Belfast’s Police College, he said: “I couldn’t put my finger on it, but you just felt very sad.
“With the air ambulance you get a lot of deaths. I didn’t realise (the impact) — I would go to the next one and the next one.”
The prince spoke after the first meeting of the Emergency Responder Senior Leader Board. It was set up to ensure 999 responders get the support they need.
He said: “Today is 999 day, a day when we come together to celebrate and thank the two million people, like you in this room, who put their own lives on the line, time and time again to keep the rest of us safe and healthy.
Thanks to the dedication and sacrifice of those of you working across the emergency services and in the NHS, I count myself and others in this country very fortunate.
“Each and every day, people from teams across the blue light community are called to the scenes of dreadful incidents.
“As you care for us in our time of need, so too must we ensure that we are there for you.
“I know first hand that, even in routine circumstances, those of you on the front line can face immense challenges that can naturally have a significant impact on both your physical and mental health.”
He said he was encouraged by the enthusiasm of 999 chiefs for a mental health forum to share “learnings and best practice”.
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