Essex and Herts Air Ambulance Trust will be able to provide trauma care at times when its helicopters are unable to fly thanks to 2 new fast response cars.
At present, the helicopters operate during daylight hours and the Herts Air Ambulance has a dispensation to fly when North Weald Airfield is closed. A special photoshoot was held at the airfield on Monday 24 March to showcase the 2 new cars before they went operational.
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The Vauxhall Insignia VXRs carry a doctor, paramedic, full life-saving equipment and drugs exactly like the helicopters and will be based at North Weald and Earls Colne. Unlike the helicopters, the cars are not weather dependent thereby improving the resilience of the service. The team can provide advanced care to patients whatever the weather, day or night.
With roof markings of 07 and 55, which match the helicopter call signs, they will initially enable the service to respond to incidents during the hours of darkness on Friday and Saturday nights. The response cars were launched during a special ceremony at the CEME Conference Centre in Rainham on Wednesday 26 March.
Evolution of the service
Ben Myer, Deputy Clinical Manager/Response Car Project Lead at the Essex and Herts Air Ambulance Trust, described how the initiative came about: “The process of car selection started over a year ago and has involved an extensive trial period and search for suitable cars that meet the required criteria for safety, storage space for medical equipment, security, comfort, and of course, responsiveness and handling. This resulted in the charity purchasing 2 Vauxhall Insignia VXR’s fitted with state of the art blue lights and bespoke livery.”
Dr Adam Chesters, Clinical Research and Training Lead at the Trust, is enthusiastic about the initiative: “Deploying a car-based doctor and paramedic team is an evolution of the service that will allow us to continue to provide advanced care to our patients, even when the helicopter is not available. We are excited to be able to use this extended service as we continue to train new Doctors and Paramedics as part of a national training initiative for pre-hospital medical care.”
Support your life-saving charity
The vehicles will be a welcome sight across the district. The air ambulances receive no public funding and rely on public subscriptions to carry out their life-saving work.
Find out how you can help on the Essex and Herts Air Ambulance Trust website.