Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Residents across Thurrock will see new arrival from air ambulance

RESIDENTS across Thurrock will see a new arrival in borough skies following the maiden flight of the new state-of-the-art Essex & Herts Air Ambulance AW169 helicopter, which started service from the Earls Colne airbase today (Tuesday, 4 June).

The air ambulance charity (EHAAT), which is not part of the NHS and does not have access to National Lottery funding, relies on the generosity and dedication of local communities. 

The £8.5 million required for the purchase was fuelled by funds raised by supporters, together with personal gifts from donors. The enhanced fleet now comprises of two AW169 aircraft and four rapid response vehicles, across its bases in Earls Colne and North Weald.  

EHAAT will showcase the new helicopter at its ‘Heli-bration’ event on Sunday, 14 July in the grounds of Hatfield House, in Hertfordshire. 

Jane Gurney, EHAAT’s CEO says: “We couldn’t have reached this incredible achievement without the generosity of our amazing supporters. 

“We are your local life-saving service, it is your air ambulance, so please join us at the Heli-bration event (see below) to see it up close, to meet our team, and to enjoy a fun afternoon celebrating this special milestone, together.”

A statement from EHAAT says: “The purchase of this cutting-edge aircraft underscores EHAAT’s commitment to delivering first-class pre-hospital care to critically ill and injured patients at the scene of incidents. 

“Crews comprising of highly skilled pilots and co-pilots and expert pre-hospital care doctors and critical care paramedics are dispatched on average seven times a day. 

“In the first five months of this year (Jan-May), they have attended to 917 patients at a range of road traffic collisions, medical emergencies, accidental injuries and other trauma incidents. 

Ms Gurney added: “Owning two state-of-the-art helicopters benefits the local communities we serve by allowing us to fly faster and further. 

“But most importantly, the AW169 maximises patient outcomes by providing the space required to carry all the medical equipment needed, including blood, for life-saving interventions at the scene, as well as allowing the clinicians to comfortably care for the patient while on route to major trauma centres and specialist hospitals.

“It has been a pleasure to have the team at Gama Aviation and Leonardo join us on the introduction of this new aircraft. Training the crews and fitting the fully customised medical interior to our specifications will allow EHAAT to continue to deliver the best possible pre-hospital care and help our life-saving mission.” 

Heli-bration – sky high family fun

By way of thanking supporters and to show off the new helicopter, EHAAT is holding its Heli-bration family fun day on Sunday, 14 July in the grounds of Hatfield House, Hertfordshire, 12-4pm. 

This one-of-a-kind event promises a fun-filled afternoon for the whole family. Entry is free and Hatfield House is just a short walk from Hatfield train station or there is plenty of free parking available onsite. Visitors can look forward to a spectacular ‘take off’ experience as the helicopter takes to the skies at the end of the afternoon. Plus, there will be an opportunity to get an exclusive close-up of the aircraft and meet the crew.

To register for tickets for the Essex & Herts Air Ambulance Heli-bration event, visit


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