EHAAT Aeromedical Conference 2023 puts extrication centre stage
With over 400 delegates attending, the Essex & Herts Air Ambulance (EHAAT) annual Aeromedical Conference has again provided a unique platform for all those working in emergency services, to come together, share knowledge, and work towards enhancing best practice in the pre-hospital care environment.
Taking place at Ford Dunton Technical Centre in Laindon, Essex, and sponsored by Ford, Leonardo Helicopters and Philips, this year’s conference was themed ‘Extrication,’ and focused on the collaborative efforts of multiple agencies to rescue and extract patients trapped in vehicles involved in road traffic collisions. Chaired by EHAAT trustee Dr Ramzi Freij, the free-to-attend event featured fascinating presentations and case studies, shedding light on the latest advancements and challenges in extrication techniques.
Respected speakers across various pre-hospital care and rescue disciplines addressed delegates in the Main Auditorium. Elizabeth Box, Research Director at the RAC Foundation, presented “Understanding Road Safety Performance in the UK,” offering valuable insights into improving road safety and reducing accidents. Rob Fenwick, a Consultant Nurse and Co-Founder of the EXIT (Extrication in Trauma) Project, followed on from Elizabeth providing a comprehensive overview of the past, present, and future of extrication techniques. Then Nigel Hale, Operations Director, and Darren Goodwin, Head of Operations, at Devon Air Ambulance took to the stage to give a joint presentation where they shared a case study on multi-vehicle road traffic collisions.
The event also featured Adrian Richardson, Station Manager at Essex County Fire & Rescue, who showcased a series of insightful videos guiding the audience through essential relocation techniques. Micky Bhasin, sub-officer of the Transport Liaison Group and Drone Team at the London Fire Brigade, highlighted the risks posed to first responders by lithium batteries in Electric Emergency Patient Vehicles (EEPVs) and Electric Vehicles (EVs), whilst breakout sessions allowed attendees to delve deeper into specific topics. Delegates also heard from Matthew Binstead, Transit Brand Manager at Ford, who presented advanced driving assistance features and collision avoidance.
EHAAT’s Dr Kat Baird, Critical Care Paramedic Ben Finbow, and Dale Willings, Incident Command Lead at Suffolk Fire & Rescue Service, shared a compelling case study on life-threatening entrapment that provided valuable insights into their collaborative efforts. Their comprehensive analysis served as a catalyst for enhancing future rescue operations and emphasised the importance of reflecting on previous incidents and experiences.
Mark Fraser, Detective Inspector from the Serious Collision Investigation Unit at Essex Police, provided insights into attending fatal road traffic collisions and the subsequent investigations, whilst Kevin May, Detective Sergeant at Essex Police, highlighted the critical role of Family Liaison Officers and the support they provide to affected families.
Throughout the day, breaks gave attendees vital opportunities to network, while also allowing them to connect with organisations that work alongside the air ambulance and emergency services, providing support with medical equipment, crew apparel, and recruitment services.
EHAAT CEO, Jane Gurney, said: “The conference highlighted the power of collaboration, which is so crucial to enhancing patient care. I want to thank our incredible speakers who shared their expertise and insights at Aeromed 23. Their contributions provided a fresh perspective on current practices, empowering us to drive forward and persistently advance patient care and safety for our crews. And let’s not forget our amazing exhibitors and sponsors – thank you all for making the day a huge success.”