Over the weekend of March 29th and 30th Essex & Herts Air Ambulance (EHAAT) was operational throughout the night on a Friday and Saturday for the first time in its twenty-one year history.
Using EHAAT’s helicopters during daylight and Rapid Response Vehicles (RRVs) during the hours of darkness, the Charity’s Critical Care Teams were available continuously from 7am on Friday through until 9pm on Sunday.
Until now the service has been operational seven days a week from 7am to 9pm, with an RRV being used on Friday and Saturday evening until 2am. These vehicles carry the same life-saving equipment as the helicopters.
Over Friday, Saturday and Sunday EHAAT’s Pre-hospital Care Doctors and Critical Care Paramedics were tasked to attend 27 incidents across Essex, Hertfordshire and surrounding areas.
These included serious Road Traffic Collisions, medical emergencies and traumatic falls. The teams provided pre-hospital emergency anaesthetic to a patient who was then transferred to a Major Trauma Centre.
Stuart Elms, Clinical Director at EHAAT, said: “This important development has come after many months of preparation, including the recruitment of sufficient Pre-hospital Care Doctors and Critical Care Paramedics to cover the extra hours.
“It is a key step as we work towards providing a full 24/7 operation, which will start later this year. Extending our hours will mean that we can attend critically ill and injured patients across the region regardless of the time of day or night.”