National Volunteers’ Week 2021
Volunteering at EHAAT – Mel Fordham
- Volunteering since Feb 2020
- Delivers leaflets locally
- Inspired to help, after seeing the helicopter and crew helping a neighbour
- Riding 6k in 2021 in aid of EHAAT
I am Mel Fordham. It’s early June 2019, returning home, we are alerted by the recognisable thudding in the air of helicopter rotors and subsequently the distinctive “winding down” of a jet engine. Being a qualified Jet Helicopter pilot, I quickly came to the only conclusion – “air ambulance” through the hedgerow on our drive I could see the red and yellow flashes of the large aircraft in the adjacent field. One of my neighbours in our small development was in trouble!!!
The medical crew ran up the drive, to join the paramedics, already on-site, at the house of my neighbour, friend, and co-director of our management committee. We were unsure who needed such specialist help. My wife, the neighbours and I waited; the clock seemed to stand still, we simply knew, a highly qualified medical team, with the absolute best equipment available, were working to save the life of someone close to us.
Eventually, paramedics stretchered the patient into the ambulance, and drove away, the Essex & Herts Air Ambulance crew departed simultaneously. We subsequently discovered, despite the endeavours of this highly skilled team, Peter had suffered a terminal coronary.
This tragic, traumatic event highlighted by the rapid arrival of the air ambulance team inspired me, I was awestruck, it could have been me, or one of my family, receiving the attention of a medical team working to save a life in the most stressful situations imaginable. Hence my new mission – in Peter’s memory, to keep the red and yellow bird airborne. RIP Peter Hill.
To support Essex & Herts Air Ambulance in 2021, I’m riding 6,000 miles virtually right across Europe.