Air ambulances team up to fly later into evenings

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TWO air ambulance organisations are joining forces to provide cover later into the evenings.

East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA) and Essex and Herts Air Ambulance Trust (EHAAT) trialled the idea in 2011 and it went operational last Monday in time for long summer evenings.

Until now, the EAAA aircraft worked from 7am until 5pm but the new partnership with EHAAT allows the aircraft to work until sunset. One helicopter from EAAA and one from EHAAT will work the early part of the day, all four helicopters will work until sunset.

The helicopters carry life-saving equipment and a team of doctors and paramedics. They are able to reach inaccessible areas and often transport patients directly to the best hospital for their injuries.

The charities rely on public donations. EHAAT helicopters cover Essex Hertfordshire and surrounding areas while EAAA helicopters cover Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire.

Tim Page, EAAA’s chief executive, said: “By the time the nights are drawing in again, we hope to be launching another major enhancement to our service – our move to night operations. Accidents and medical emergencies can happen at any time and the care provided by the EAAA and EHAAT is instrumental in saving lives.”

EAAA recently announced that later in the year it will become the first air ambulance service to extend cover to the hours of darkness thanks to new equipment.

Dr Pam Chrispin, East of England Ambulance Service Trust’s medical director, said: “Our focus is on the delivery of best possible care for patients and the partnership with our two regional air ambulance charities affords consistent and high quality specialist treatment to those most seriously ill and injured.

“This initiative proved very successful last year and will again provide and invaluable additional service across the East of England.”

For more information on the East Anglian Air Ambulance, contact 0845 0669999 or visit www.eaaa.org.uk