Essex & Herts Air Ambulance undertook its first mission from its new airbase at North Weald in south-east England on 28 April. A critical care team was asked to attend an incident in nearby Bishop’s Stortford by the East of England Ambulance Service Trust.
Essex & Herts Air Ambulance Trust (EHAAT) is a charity HEMS operation that serves Essex, Hertfordshire and neighbouring areas. Its operations director, Cliff Gale, said: “The first mission from our new airbase is a historic landmark for the charity, and we would like to thank all of our amazing supporters who have made this first-class facility possible.
“This first mission is the culmination of a great deal of commitment, planning and hard work. We are delighted to see our crews operational from the new base by helicopter and rapid-response vehicle. This building will give the charity a home for decades to come with facilities that will allow us to continue providing a world-class clinical service.”
Stuart Elms, EHAAT’s clinical director, stated: “After years of planning and preparation, it is great to see this state-of-the-art building being used as a base from which our highly skilled pre-hospital care teams can attend critically ill and injured patients across Essex, Hertfordshire and the surrounding areas.”
The purpose-built airbase was completed in February 2021 and replaces a leased facility nearby. It includes a hangar which is capable of housing two helicopters and has underground heating beneath the helipad to keep it free of snow and ice during the winter. There are dedicated areas for training, as well as an interactive visitor centre for supporters of the charity.