When a call for help came from emergency medical charity Magpas (, leading local marketer Mike Holland ( was first on the scene, donating his time and expertise to provide media training to Magpas and its Helimedix teams.

Working alongside Mike at the scene of the training was David Bird of corporate video production company DB Sound and Vision (

Magpas Helimedix are specialist pre-hospital response and retrieval teams. The teams consist of both a doctor and a paramedic and are therefore able to provide A&E care at the scene of an accident or emergency.

Magpas is internationally renowned for its ground-breaking training program which is considered the benchmark for pre-hospital emergency medical training in the UK. Traveling by helicopter and rapid response vehicle means that Helimedix teams are often among the first to reach an accident.

Mike Holland, director of Peterborough-based marketing communications company Smye Holland Associates (, said: “If there has been a major road traffic collision it is likely to attract the attention of the local press. Journalists like to speak to the first people on the scene and that is often likely to include a Magpas Helimedix team.

“For an organisation such as Magpas, which is funded entirely by donations from the public, this media attention is a major opportunity. The media is an important tool for getting the right message across to the public. When Magpas said it was looking for help to run a media awareness course I was happy to help.

“The training event looked at how and why we use the media, how to prepare for an interview and also enabled the teams to practice interview techniques.

“To make it as realistic as possible we created a ‘lights, camera, action!’ set-up with interviews being recorded by David Bird from DB Sound and Vision. As well as adding an air of realism, it also enabled us to play the interviews back and offer advice based on how people came across on-screen.”

Antonia Brickell, communications manager at Magpas, said: “Facing the media is something that the charity has not previously addressed but is a skill that I felt the Helimedix teams could benefit from. Thanks to Mike’s help and advice the Helimedix teams will now be media naturals!”

For more information on Magpas go to