2019 – A Year in Highlights
Let’s take a look back at some of the standout moments throughout 2019…
We installed a Public Access Defibrillator (PAD) in Buntingford as part of our commitment to communities in which we have a charity shop. The use of this, alongside CPR, is crucial to an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.
Stuart Elms, Clinical Director said: “Once 999 has been called, ensuring that further help is on the way, members of the public should not be afraid to use the equipment and start CPR. The defibrillator provides clear and audible instructions and will not deliver a shock if the patient does not need it.”
We opened our seventh charity shop in Frinton-on-Sea. The shop was officially opened by Mrs Bonnie Hill MBE, Deputy Lieutenant of Essex who was joined by guests Iris Johnson, The Mayor of Frinton-on-Sea, and Tina Whatling from Harwich, who was airlifted in 2016. Since opening, the shop has raised over £33,000.
As of March 20th, we have carried blood supplies on board our helicopters and rapid response vehicles. We carry packed red blood cells of blood group O Negative, meaning they can be used on any patient. The blood products are supplied daily from The Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow and are delivered to our airbase’s by riders from Essex Voluntary Blood Service (EVBS). Since March, we have given 35 potentially life-saving transfusions.
The 10th anniversary of Strictly Air Ambulance raised £17,500, with our own Critical Care Paramedic, James Mullett, taking the glitter ball trophy. His performance of ‘I want to break free’ – Queen, is something we will never forget.
We branched out from our usual charity shop model to open a permanent indoor market stall in Stevenage.
On Sunday 12th May, over 1,300 bikers took part in the annual Motorcycle Run from Welwyn Garden City to North Weald raising £11,000. Everyone has had a great day, from riders taking part in the Motorcycle Run to children enjoying the stunt shows and children’s rides. Even the weather was on our side with beautiful sunshine all day.
On Wednesday 26th June, we held the tenth anniversary of our Aeromedical Conference. This year’s theme was ‘Reflect, Learn, Innovate’ with presentations covering major incidents, trauma care innovation and knife-related crime. The event is FREE and open to medics, students, emergency and military personnel interested in the pre-hospital environment. Register your interest to be the first to know when tickets are available here.
In his Budget Statement last Autumn Phillip Hammond, Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced that the Government would be making £10 million available to support the funding of capital projects for the 18 air ambulance charities in England. We applied for £1.5 million, and following an announcement on Friday 28th June we received the full amount. We will use this grant to go towards the build of our new airbase at North Weald.
We opened our ninth charity shop in Braintree. The official opening ceremony was attended by Mrs Jennifer Tolhurst, Lord Lieutenant of Essex along with Cllr Angela Kilmartin, Chairman of Braintree Council, Tara McIntyre, a former airlifted patient and Trustee, Claire Smith – the latter who both shared their personal stories of how the Charity has touched them.
We replaced updated our fleet to replace the two Skoda Octavia Scouts with two Volvo XC90s, which we brought into operation in 2018 after extensive research. The rapid response vehicles (RRVs) carry the same level of clinical care and equipment as the helicopters.Our RRVs are essential to our 24/7 operation in the hours of darkness and in the event of bad weather.
Over 3,500 bikers took part in the 20th anniversary of our Motorcycle Run from Dunton to Harwich, raising over £40,000. Spectators and riders enjoyed an afternoon of family fun, food and great live music, with our AW169 helicopter dropping in to say hello.
We launched our new online shop, populated with our first ever line of branded clothing, accesories and merchandise. The helicopter model and pin badge have proved a firm favourite!
Since October 7th, we have been operational 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. This major development means we can deliver advanced pre-hospital care to critically ill and injured patients, regardless of the time of day or night.
We opened our tenth charity shop in Eastwood, attended by Mr David Hurst, Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Essex. Other invited guests included Rebecca Harris MP, David Amess MP, and Lynda Costerd, who was attended by EHAAT’s critical care team following an accident in 2017.
23 trekkers took to China to trek 36km along the Great Wall, led by Patient Liaison Manager/Critical Care Paramedic, Tony Stone. Their combined fundraising efforts have raised over £46,000! Fancy the challenge? Request your FREE fundraising pack for Trek 2020 – Sahara Desert here.
We received planning permission for our new airbase at North Weald. The new building will give us security of tenure and will result in significant cost savings compared to leasing a new building built to the same specification.
We celebrated our achievements at our Staff Christmas Lunch, kindly sponsored by Specialist Avaiation Services. Congratulations to those who were nominated by their colleagues to receive the following awards in line with our values:
Passionate – Natasha Robertson
Professional – Jen Townsend
Innovative – Louise Pownall
Trustworthy – Tony Stone
Dedicated – Aderyn Gillett
Ray of Sunshine – Alex Turner
Perfectly Positive – Donna Lee
Helpful Hero – Clair Mitchell and Vicci Parkin
Wickedly Witty – Jonathan Ager
Effortlessly Enthusiastic – Emily Donnachie
Thank you for support in 2019. We look forward to what 2020 brings!