Last month the Charity saw the purchase of two Volvo XC90 Emergency Response Spec Rapid Response Vehicles (RRVs). Our Rapid Response Vehicles are essential to keeping Essex & Herts Air Ambulance operational in the hours of darkness and in the event of bad weather. The vehicles carry the same kit as found on the helicopters, allowing the Critical Care Team to continue bringing the hospital to the patient.
EHAAT holds Rapid Response Vehicles at both Airbases, Earls Colne and North Weald. As we move towards our goal of being operational 24/7 we introduced the night car shift on a Friday and Saturday evening, 6 pm – 2 am in January. The new vehicles will work alongside our current Skoda Insignias and plan to be in use over the next three years.
Stuart Elms, Clinical Director, explains the vehicle selection process: ‘After extensive testing, it was found the Volvo XC90 is the most suited for our operation both now and allowing options for future changes. We were very pleased with the level of help and advice received from Volvo special sales. The VXR’s have been fantastic response cars however these are starting to show wear and tear as any RRV does. They will continue to make up the fleet for the next 18 months, but our eventual goal is to have the same model across the fleet, or at least the same manufacturer for both consistency and efficiency.
The Critical Care Team will alter the use of the different car models to ensure that all vehicles are fully utilised’.
There are a number of benefits to the new RRVs, namely the large cargo space that allows the Critical Care Team to take with them the full and extensive kit to the scene, further improving the level of care bought to the patient’s side. In addition to the outstanding Volvo standard safety features is the modified chassis, brakes, battery and alternator as well as the increased fuel tank size. Volvo also provides dedicated after sale contact and free familiarisation training which has proved essential to the Critical Care Team’s vehicle transition.
The new RRVs will be operational in the early part of 2018 and will be branded in the Charity’s colours.
Pictured: Essex & Herts Air Ambulance Skoda Insignia