Following the recent MCF award to the Essex & Herts Air Ambulance Trust on behalf of PGL Herts WBro Jay Patel APGM and WBro Chris Noble Prov Grand Charity Steward visited the North Weald air field where the two helicopters are stationed.
“on arrival the Herts aircraft took off to answer a “shout” so we assumed the visit would be without the craft
but we were both delighted when it returned and landed just feet in front of us having received the “stand down” signal.
Jane Gurney CEO and Natasha Robertson Fund Raising Manager showed us around the station and explained the work and support of the staff and volunteers. understandably they are very proud of the new £6.5m state of the art second aircraft to predominantly serve the Herts area. They reminded us that the 27 Air Ambulance Trusts receive no Government funding and rely solely on public donations. They admitted that without the support of Freemasons the service would suffer considerably.
The pilot showed us the wonderful aircraft and explained that the onboard computers can manage a perfect hover, in windy conditions, above an incident site. The four rotor blades alone would cost £1.5m to replace. Unbelievably they have had to recently invest in “stab vests” @ £400 each due to the rising incidences of crew attacks. They often receive verbal and sometimes physical abuse. (especially near major cities & towns ).
Doctors and Paramedics are on a 3 year secondment from their hospital and Paramedic Dave said “it’s a wonderful opportunity and very different to hospital life. I am just getting my feet under the table after 6 months. I see more trauma cases in one day than I usually did in a week at the hospital. It is very exciting, very demanding, but extremely satisfying. One patient had stopped breathing and was receiving CPR when we arrived. We applied the full body automatic CPR unit which supported him for 46 minutes until the hospital team took control. He walked out of hospital three days later without any problems. Without doubt he would have died had it not been for the EHAAT support”.
The EHAAT Team offered any Herts Lodge a brief presentation (with over head project if requested) at a future Lodge meeting.