Essex & Herts Air Ambulance
Essex & Herts Air Ambulance, unlike NHS emergency services, is a charity. The free life-saving service is provided 24/7 by helicopters and by rapid response vehicles in the hours of darkness.
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Explore our most frequently asked questions below. Alternatively, if you’d like to get in touch, use the contact details below or the form on our contact page.
Each critical care team consists of a very skilled pilot, co-pilot, pre-hospital care doctor and critical care paramedic. All are very experienced and skilled in their field. You can learn more about our crew here.
Our current helicopters are an AgustaWestland 169 (AW169) and an MD902 Explorer (MD902). The helicopters are powered by two Pratt and Whitney engines. They also have full single-engine capability allowing them to fly and land with one engine if necessary. The AW169 flies at around 170mph and the MD902 at around 150mph. You can learn more about our helicopters and rapid response vehicles in the ‘Our Impact’ section of our website.
We work in partnership with the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) who, according to clinical need, dispatch the EHAAT team from the Critical Care Desk (CCD) based in the EEAST Emergency Operation Centre at Broomfield Hospital. The CCD is manned by a critical care paramedic and a trained dispatcher to ensure appropriate tasking. Once they have completed the pre-flight checks in the helicopter or checked the route and secured themselves in the RRV, the team leaves within minutes of the emergency call being received at the airbase.
Our helicopters and RRVs carry blood products on board. The ability to give a pre-hospital transfusion at the scene of an incident could be a life-saving intervention for patients suffering significant bleeding and blood loss. This early transfusion will significantly reduce the time lost in having to take a patient to a hospital to receive blood. We carry packed red blood cells of blood group O Negative, meaning they can be used on any patient, along with lyoplas, a freeze-dried plasma. The packed red blood cells are supplied daily and replenished as required from The Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow and delivered to EHAAT’s airbases at Earls Colne and North Weald by riders from Essex Voluntary Blood Service (EVBS).
The total cost per mission is in the region of £2,200, and the fuel for flying each helicopter per hour costs between £125 to £160.
Without access to National Lottery funding and with only limited support from Government, we rely upon the generosity and goodwill of the people and businesses of Essex and Hertfordshire who make donations and fundraise in order to keep both emergency helicopters flying.
Essex & Herts Air Ambulance is not part of the NHS. We receive limited government funding and do not have access to National Lottery funding. As a charity, we rely on the generosity and kindness of people and businesses across Essex, Hertfordshire and surrounding areas.
It costs in excess of £750,000 every month to remain operational, delivering a free first-class pre-hospital emergency medical service for critically ill and injured patients. Every gift we receive makes a meaningful difference, helping us bring emergency department care to the people who need us most. Whether you’re donating the cost of your early morning coffee, playing our Flight For Life Lottery or donating in memory of a loved one, you can make a single or regular donation quickly and easily online, via post or by calling us on 0345 2417 690. Thank you for your support!