East Anglian Air Ambulance
|Legal status||Registered Charity No. 1083876|
|Purpose||Dedicated helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS) provider|
|Headquarters||Norwich International Airport|
The East Anglian Air Ambulance is an air ambulance providing Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) across the counties of Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire. The appeal to fund the service was launched in the summer of 2000 by top jockey Frankie Dettori, who had been a casualty in a serious plane crash a couple of months earlier. Flying commenced in January 2001 and the service was initially available only one day a week. The East Anglian Air Ambulance now operates two helicopters from its bases at Cambridge and Norwich airports, and the service now operates 365 days, covering over 5,000 square miles (13,000 km2) and a population of approximately 3.5 million.
From 8 March 2018, the charity will appear on Channel 4's TV programme Emergency Helicopter Medics, which follows the crews responding and treating emergency patients. Other air ambulances that will feature in the show include Thames Valley Air Ambulance and Great North Air Ambulance.
EAAA's mission statement is: "To alleviate suffering and save lives, by the rapid delivery of specialist clinicians and equipment to accidents and medical emergencies and the subsequent transfer of patients to and between hospitals".
The charity provides air ambulance cover for East Anglia, in association with East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust, which provides highly skilled critical care paramedics who fly with the charity. Doctors are seconded from their home trusts.
In June 2006 a new helicopter, a MBB/Kawasaki BK117, G-OEMT, was commissioned from Sterling Aviation. The aircraft replaced the Bolkow 105, G-EYNL, and went into service as Anglia One. In August 2007 and second MBB/Kawasaki BK117, G-RESC, went into service with EAAA as Anglia Two.
In March 2011 EAAA changed operator and moved from Sterling Aviation to interim supplier, Bond Air Services. Bond later successfully tendered for the contract to operate Anglia One and Anglia Two. During the interim period EAAA flew red aircraft but soon returned to their more familiar yellow livery with the introduction of the Eurocopter EC135.
In 2012 EAAA commissioned the fully night-capable EC135 T2e and commenced the CAA approval process to begin the night HEMS service.
In April 2015 EAAA received a new EC145 T2 helicopter, based at Cambridge airport. It was the first EC145 T2 to be delivered to the UK and was number 12 off the production line. The introduction of the EC145T2 provides EAAA with a helicopter that is capable of carrying two flight crew, three clinicians and a patient, whilst providing a considerable increase in cabin space and performance.
In February 2016 a second EC145 T2, G-RESU went into service as Anglia Two. The new H145 will replace the EC135 T2e, G-HEMN at Norwich.
In April 2016 Bond Air Services was rebranded as Babcock Mission Critical Services Onshore Ltd.
Both Anglia One and Anglia Two are fitted with the most up-to-date medical equipment and are dedicated ambulance helicopters.
Anglia One covers Norfolk and Suffolk and is based at Norwich International Airport. Anglia Two covers Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire and is based at Cambridge Airport although both can and do fly further afield when required.
G-RESU is based at Norwich Airport. G-HEMC is based at Cambridge Airport.
When the service was first launched, Anglia One operated for only one day a week. This was soon expanded to five days a week and later to the current service of seven days a week.
Anglia Two was launched in August 2007 and began operating five days a week (from Sunday to Thursday). The service provided by Anglia Two was extended to seven days a week in 2008. It was manned by the Emergency Medical Team from Magpas Helimedix 24/7 and based at RAF Wyton until its move to Cambridge Airport where the charity decided to use its own medical personnel - predominantly doctors specialising in Emergency medicine, Anesthesia and/or Intensive care medicine from hospitals within the region.
Typical incidents for which the assistance of the air ambulance is requested include road traffic collisions, horse riding accidents, cardiac arrests and serious falls. The EAAA team of highly skilled doctors and critical care paramedics also treat many people injured in agricultural, industrial and sporting accidents as well as medical emergencies.
Airlifted patients are most likely to go to the Major Trauma Centre at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, the specialist Burns Unit in Broomfield Hospital, Chelmsford or the specialist Heart Attack Centre at Norfolk and Norwich Hospital. Patients less severely injured, but where travel would take an excessive amount of time, may be airlifted to their local A&E with Trauma Unit.
In May 2013, EAAA was the first air ambulance charity in England to receive approval to fly night time HEMS missions. The first team was available and ready to fly on 24 May and was called that night to a traffic collision in Essex. The clinicians were flown to the scene where they treated an injured motorcyclist with the aid of night vision equipment. The patient was then flown back to Cambridge where he was taken to the major trauma centre at Addenbrooke's Hospital.
For the majority of call-outs Anglia One and Two will carry a crew of four; one pilot, one co-pilot, one critical-care paramedic and one doctor.
The EAAA crew with their expertise and training are able to 'take the hospital emergency room to the patient'. The speed in which EAAA helicopters can get the medics to people suffering a medical emergency or accident is critical in ensuring a good recovery for the patient. EAAA can provide at the scene of the incident just about all the procedures that would be expected in a hospital. For that reason, once the EAAA doctor and paramedic crew have treated the patient, it is often safe for them to then travel on to the hospital by road for further treatment. EAAA fly approximately a third of their patients and this is either because of the critical nature of their condition or the remoteness of the incident.
The control centre for East Anglian Air Ambulance tasking is located in Chelmsford and is staffed twenty four hours a day, every day of the year by an East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust dispatcher and a critical care paramedic. They know what to look for in an emergency call and can ensure that the helicopter is mobilised when its life saving services are required. The decision is made by the doctor at the scene of the incident as to whether the patient should go by land ambulance, or be flown to hospital on the air ambulance.
The East Anglian Air Ambulance is a charitable service and does not receive direct funding from the government. It is estimated that it costs in the region of £11m per year to keep both helicopters and the service operational; this money comes entirely from public donations and fundraising activities, including the purchase of weekly lottery tickets, corporate donations and legacy giving.
Facts and figures
- East Anglian Air Ambulance has attended over 22,000 life saving missions since the charity's first aircraft was launched in 2000
- The average cost of each mission flown as of 2014 – 2015 financial accounts is £3,500
- The normal cruising speed for an EAAA helicopter is 137 knots (158 mph; 254 km/h)
- EAAA aircraft can reach patients anywhere in the region within 25 minutes
- Prince William (Duke of Cambridge) was a pilot with East Anglian Air Ambulance
Pre-hospital Care Network in the East of England
This charity is one of many Pre-hospital care providers in the East, which has an established trauma network – the first to be fully operational in the UK.
Other Pre-hospital care providers that they work and train alongside are:
- BASICS Essex Accident Rescue Service (BEARS) 
- BASICS Hertfordshire 
- Suffolk Accident Rescue Service (SARS)
- Norfolk Accident Rescue Service (NARS)
- Essex & Herts Air Ambulance
- Magpas Air Ambulance
The East of England teams commonly end up working alongside crews from Lincolnshire & Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance, London's Air Ambulance and The Air Ambulance Service, along with other BASICS charities.
- East Anglian Air Ambulance – About Us
- "East Anglian Air Ambulance to star in new TV documentary - East Anglian Air Ambulance". East Anglian Air Ambulance. 2018-04-05. Retrieved 2018-04-08.
- Lift off for Bedfordshire Air Ambulance, East of England Ambulance Service, retrieved 2010-10-18
- East Anglian Air Ambulance – Helicopter Technical Information
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to East Anglian Air Ambulance.|