During a year like no other, your support has been vital
As we approach the anniversary of the first COVID-19 national lockdown I would like to say thank you for your continued support throughout the pandemic. I know that a great many of us will have had difficult times over the last year coping with the strain of the lockdowns and government restrictions imposed. But at last with the vaccine programme well underway and a road map which hopefully will lead us to the relaxation of the various restrictions over the coming months I am feeling positive about the future.
Although the pandemic has had a very real impact on the charity and its work, I can assure you that Essex & Herts Air Ambulance (EHAAT) continues to be there 24/7 for the most critically ill and injured patients in Essex, Hertfordshire and surrounding areas. The reason I can say that is because of the vital support we receive from people like you, so I would like to thank you most sincerely on behalf of the entire clinical team.
Last year our PPE appeal raised just over £66,000, meaning we could provide the masks and suits that the crew so desperately needed, allowing them to provide safe care for patients whilst protecting themselves. A huge heartfelt ‘thank you’ from our Critical Care Paramedics, Pre-hospital Care Doctors our Pilots and Co-Pilots.
We recently increased the protection we provide for patients and the clinical team by purchasing decontamination equipment for the airbases that sprays a dry fog solution onto equipment and clothing, killing viruses and bacteria on contact. This is done between every mission to ensure we are helping to battle COVID-19.
Our normal workload of attending critically ill and injured patients has continued despite the pandemic. We’ve been able to recruit and train new members of staff in a COVID-secure manner, assist with the work of the NHS London Nightingale Hospital and Royal London Hospital, and at the height of the pandemic surge we helped with the transfer of COVID-19 patients between hospitals. I am extremely proud of my team who have been incredible during this difficult period, allowing us to help people in their time of need and assist our partners in the NHS and other emergency services.
As always, in addition to adapting and responding to the present, we are looking to the future.
I’m delighted to say that work on our new airbase at North Weald, which becomes operational later this year, was completed on schedule despite the challenges of the pandemic. This new state of the art facility will allow us to train, work, and respond from what will be a centre of excellence. This along with an upgrade to our airbase at Earls Colne, which now provides a superb base for the crew, has only been possible because of your generosity.
We have got through the challenges we have faced thanks to each and every one of you. Your support is not simply financial, knowing you care and ask about the clinical team has also been a huge morale boost for us all.
You can read more about our work over the last year in the latest edition of Flight for Life. The main focus of this edition is our Blood on Board Appeal which will help us to continue giving blood to patients who need it the most.
By continuing to support each other as we have done over the last year, I’m confident we will get through the final stages of the pandemic. I can assure you that EHAAT will continue to be there for people when they need us the most.
I wish you all the very best. Stay safe, and from all of us, please accept our heartfelt thanks.
Essex & Herts Air Ambulance