We provide a Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) by bringing the hospital to the critically ill and injured patients of Essex, Hertfordshire and surrounding areas.
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.
Each critical care team consists of a pilot and co-pilot, a pre-hospital care doctor and a critical care paramedic.
They can be rushed to the scene with life-saving support equipment to deliver advanced clinical care, usually only in the hospital emergency department.
Once stabilised, the patient will be conveyed to the most appropriate hospital by air or land.
It costs £9 million every year to cover all operational and charitable costs.
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 to remain operational and keep saving lives…we can’t fly without you!
Our Mission & How We’re Dispatched
We aim to save lives and reduce or prevent disability or suffering from critical illness and injury by delivering a first-class pre-hospital emergency medical service across Essex, Hertfordshire, and surrounding areas.
Our highly skilled and specially trained pre-hospital care doctors and critical care paramedics work alongside our regional partners using helicopters and rapid response vehicles fitted with state-of-the-art life-saving equipment. Our critical care teams are dispatched by the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust.
We are here to assist everyone who lives, works, or travels through the region. The charity provides the service free of charge to patients of all ages, from every background and faith, who require the most advanced clinical care.
We treat everyone as they would wish to be treated, demonstrating reliability, knowledge, consistency and honesty.
We take pride in going the extra mile and working above and beyond what is expected.
We are lively and dynamic, proactively looking to drive the best clinical practice.
We care about the cause, our patients and each other, putting the people of Essex and Hertfordshire at the heart of everything we do.
We foster an open and positive working environment, communicating with one another in an honest, meaningful way
We create a safe and supportive environment, promoting equality and valuing diversity
TAKING STEPS TO A GREENER FUTURE
Electric vehicle charging points have been installed at both airbases and our headquarters in Earls Colne.
Additional steps such as improved waste segregation, recycling and eco boilers have been installed at both airbases and our headquarters in Earls Colne.
Our charity shops provide a sustainable and ethical option when people wish to dispose of unwanted goods, promoting reuse and recycling to reduce landfill, which makes a positive difference to the UK’s carbon footprint.
We regularly run virtual events, accelerating fundraising activity whilst delivering a greater ROI with a lower carbon footprint than large in-person events.
We are introducing cashless donations alongside our traditional cash tins in shops, pubs, and other retail outlets. Over time, as we phase-in contactless and phase-out cash, this will mean less mileage to collect cash tins, and bring them back to our bases.
In the charity as a whole, we are moving towards hybrid working with office staff spending 40% of their time working from home.
Essex & Herts Air Ambulance have a Visitor Centre at both our airbases at Earls Colne and North Weald. Whether you are an individual interested in our work or a group looking at fundraising opportunities we have something for everyone, and we look forward to welcoming you.
Immerse yourself in our exciting 999 Experience, you might want to put on a helmet and sit in the pilot’s seat! Listen to interesting facts and a wealth of background and operational information provided by our volunteer tour hosts. Play our interactive game and test your knowledge with the quiz.
North Weald Airbase
The building has been designed to current BREEAM ratings and has achieved an energy performance certificate (EPC) grading of A, the highest possible.
Photovoltaic panels on the roof at North Weald mean that the building generates electricity. Any excess is sold to National Grid.
Motion sensor lighting inside the building means lights are only active when most areas are occupied, reducing electricity consumption.
EARLS COLNE AIRBASE
We’ve been operating from Earls Colne since 2011 and have continually improved the facilities. With the help of our remarkable supporters, we updated and extended our hangar to create a first-class facility, enabling us to continue to provide an exceptional clinical service for those in need across the region well into the future. We’ve also incorporated Photovoltaic panels to generate electricity with excess sold to National Grid. Earls Colne is also home to our headquarters and visitor centre (based at Earls Colne Business Park), where we regularly welcome and engage with our supporters, giving visitors an insight into the work of the charity, a guided tour of the visitor centre, plus the unique opportunity of seeing the helicopter and meeting the crew (subject to operations).
Continuous Improvement & Innovation
As part of our commitment to continuously raise the bar and deliver outstanding patient care, EHAAT introduced blood on board in 2019. On average, our critical care team treats approximately 60 patients in desperate need of a blood transfusion at the scene of an incident every year. By carrying bags of O-negative red blood cells, blood plasma, blood warmer and specialist coolboxes in the helicopters and rapid response vehicles (RRVs) our team provide extra care to patients suffering significant blood loss. Night flying is another huge step forward in our strategic aim of providing the highest possible standards of pre-hospital clinical care. The crew use night vision goggles (NVG), which are calibrated to meet the specific vision requirements of the individual and are attached to the front of the flight helmets. This allows our pilots to see obstructions clearly and land in areas that are unlit.
Over the past two decades, Essex & Herts Air Ambulance (EHAAT) has continued to identify ways to improve what we do, driving forward with the best clinical care. From upgrading our fleet of helicopters, introducing rapid response vehicles, expanding our service across Hertfordshire and having a purpose-built airbase constructed on time and on budget despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have lots of meaningful milestones for you to explore!
Essex Air Ambulance was established and began fundraising.
Our first aircraft, a Bölkow 105 DB, began operating from Boreham Airfield with one pilot and two paramedics on board.
We began flying seven days a week during daylight hours and launched our Motorcycle Run fundraising event, which is still thriving today.
Thanks to fundraising and public support, we upgraded our aircraft to the Eurocopter EC135 T2. We also opened our first charity shop in West Mersea, an idea proposed to us by a volunteer.
Herts Air Ambulance charity was established, and we began to raise funds for a second aircraft. We merged the two services to become Essex & Herts Air Ambulance Trust (EHAAT).
The Herts Air Ambulance service, based at North Weald, became operational with a MD902 Explorer, and rapid response vehicles were added to the fleet. Pre-hospital care doctors were introduced to work alongside the critical care paramedics and pilots.
Essex Air Ambulance began flying a MD902 Explorer, the same model as Herts Air Ambulance.
Essex Air Ambulance’s operational base moved from Boreham to Earls Colne. Our first visitor centre is opened at the Earls Colne Airbase with volunteers hosting tours.
Our Flight for Life Lottery reached 100,000 weekly playing members. It is a major source of income, raising millions of pounds for the charity.
The charity’s HQ moved into brand new premises on the Earls Colne Business Park. The Ware charity shop was opened, the first of our shops in Hertfordshire.
Co-pilots were introduced to the crew. This change allowed the paramedic to be in the back of the helicopter with the doctor and patient, enhancing patient care. Following the success of the visitor centre at Earls Colne, a similar centre opened at North Weald Airbase.
We celebrated 20 years of serving the community and combined both services into one unified identity, Essex & Herts Air Ambulance. The charity’s new state of the art AW169 aircraft was unveiled. It is the first helicopter to be purchased rather than leased by the charity.
Our dedicated team of volunteers grew to over 300. They are vital to EHAAT and support us in so many ways, from helping with fundraising activities and in our charity shops to representing us in the community and so much more.
We began carrying blood on board. Giving a blood transfusion at the scene can be a life-saving intervention. The service became operational 24/7 for the first time, using helicopters by day and rapid response vehicles in the hours of darkness.
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic altered the way our charity and clinical staff work in order to keep patients, volunteers, supporters and staff safe. Our airbase at Earls Colne was expanded and refurbished, with improved working conditions for the crews.
We open our purpose-built airbase here at North Weald. These facilities secure our future in being able to provide care to the critically injured across Essex, Hertfordshire and the surrounding areas.
The Earl and Countess of Wessex have visited our new base at North Weald in a first Royal visit for the charity. The royals toured our new airbase and met EHAAT’s critical care team members, charity staff, and volunteers.
Our crews here at EHAAT are now flying in the hours of darkness, having completed the Night Vision Imaging System (NVIS) training necessary to extend our operational period and capability. We attended our first helicopter night mission on Saturday evening 14th January following an RTC in the Southend area.