Essex Air Ambulance week takes off

Charity / Mon 4th Sep 2023 at 07:47am

STARTING today (Monday 4th September), Air Ambulance Week 2023 will take off across the UK, and local charity, the Essex & Herts Air Ambulance (EHAAT), who is also celebrating its 25th year of providing a life-saving 24/7 service to its local communities, will be onboard.

Air Ambulance Week is organised by Air Ambulances UK, the national charity supporting the work of the UK’s air ambulances, and EHAAT is running ‘Go Red Go Yellow – wear it, bake it, make it!’, a campaign encouraging supporters to get onboard and raise much needed funds for the charity.  

The ‘Go Red Go Yellow’ initiative is asking supporters to choose a colour, raise funds and save lives. That could either be by holding a coffee morning with homemade Lemon Drizzle and Red Velvet cakes, or schools and businesses holding a dress-down day where everyone dresses from head to toe in yellow or red. And perhaps, for the more adventurous, supporters could sit in a bath of tomato soup, or do a sponsored walk dressed as a banana!

The week which runs from the 4th to the 10th September, also sends a serious message which highlights that anyone, anywhere in the UK could become a patient at any time, and how air ambulance charities such as EHAAT can rapidly deliver advanced lifesaving pre-hospital care directly to the side of patients experiencing sudden life-threatening injuries or medical emergencies.

Serving Essex, Hertfordshire and the surrounding communities, and almost entirely funded by public donations, EHAAT attended 2,582 missions last year, with each mission costing around £2,200.

A patient that has experienced first-hand EHAAT’s life-saving service is Steve Jones.

Steve, who lives in Essex, is a glider pilot. In April 2021, shortly after take-off, his glider crash-landed breaking up into pieces. Steve was stuck inside the fuselage with serious injuries. A Helicopter Emergency Medical Services team from EHAAT was there in minutes, and were able to attend to his injuries, giving him vital blood products, which are carried onboard. They airlifted him to Addenbrookes Hospital where he underwent eight operations in seven days.

Steve is thankful to the team at EHAAT and said: “I feel very lucky that the Essex & Herts Air Ambulance crew were with me in minutes. I had a broken spine, broken leg, arm, and pelvis, and they were able to give me a blood transfusion. Where would I be without the air ambulance? Well, if they hadn’t got to me so promptly, I quite simply wouldn’t have survived and wouldn’t be here now. It was the air ambulance that saved my life, they are there for all of us and give so much..” (Click here to watch a video of Steve Jones telling his story.)

Emma Barker, Head of Income Generation at EHAAT, is encouraging supporters to get behind Air Ambulance Week and the Go Red Go Yellow initiative. She said: This year we are celebrating 25 years of running our free life-saving emergency medical service, delivering advanced clinical care usually seen only in the hospital emergency department. But with no National Lottery funding and with very limited government support, it is the incredible donations that we receive from our supporters in our local community that keeps us flying. 

“That’s why national initiatives such as Air Ambulance Week are so important in raising awareness of the lifesaving work we do. Ultimately, our missions are funded by donations; The past 25 years is not our achievement – it is the achievement of the people of Essex and Hertfordshire, and we are grateful to you all.“

To find out more about how you can get involved in the Go Red Go Yellow campaign, visit https://ehaat.org/aaw23/   

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