Essex Air Ambulance
Essex Air Ambulance is a Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS); providing a free life-saving service for Essex and surrounding areas. Specialist Doctors and Critical Care Paramedics can be rushed to the scene of an incident with life-saving support equipment and the patient, following assessment, will be flown to an appropriate hospital.
Unlike NHS emergency services Essex Air Ambulance is a Charity relying solely upon the generosity and goodwill of the people and businesses of Essex to remain operational and saving lives.
The Essex Air Ambulance charity was established and began fundraising in 1997 with the first Air Ambulance, a Bolkow 105 Db, being launched in July 1998 from New Hall School in Boreham. During the past 15 years there have been 4 aircraft in service. The first two helicopters were Bolkows with bright red livery, later to be resprayed yellow following a sponsorship deal with the AA. In May 2003 thanks to the passion and fundraising of the County, the charity was in a position to commission a new state of the art aircraft, the Eurocopter EC135 T2. Now, as of 1 June 2010 Essex Air Ambulance have a new helicopter, an MD902 Explorer, the same model as the Herts Air Ambulance also operated by Medical Aviation Services (MAS).
The helicopter is powered by 2 Pratt and Whitney 206E engines. It also has full single engine capacity allowing it to fly and land with one engine if necessary. Operating 7 days a week during dalylight hours the MD 902 Explorer takes off within 2 minutes of the emergency call being received at the airbase and is deployed on average 2-3 times each day.
Based at Earls Colne near Colchester, the helicopter is never more than eight minutes flying time from any one of the major hospitals in Essex and flies at a speed of 150 miles per hour.
It costs in the region of £440,000 per month to keep both helicopters flying and cover all charitable costs, that’s £5.3million a year. It is thanks to the generous people of Essex that we can ensure that the service continues to fly into the future.