Essex & Herts Air Ambulance save lives at night – by car, not helicopter

Essex & Herts Air Ambulance save lives at night – by car, not helicopter 27 Mar, 14, Source: EHAAT

People living and working in Essex, Hertfordshire and surrounding areas now benefit from an extended service by the Essex & Herts Air Ambulance Trust. During the hours of darknesson Friday and Saturday nights a specialist Doctor/Paramedic Team will respond to patients via a dedicated fast response car.

It is very apparent that people become critically ill or injured at all times of the day and night and it has been a long held aspiration of the Trust to provide the same level of medical care to these people as to those during daylight hours when the helicopters are operational.

Yesterday, Wednesday 26th March, a press launch was held at CEME Conference Centre in Rainham where the new response cars were unveiled. Guests were given the unique opportunity to be the first to see them and to meet some of our highly skilled Doctors and Paramedics.

The dispatch process and criteria for the response cars to be tasked to an incident will be exactly the same as for the helicopter service. Tasking is supported by a HEMS Critical Care Paramedic interrogating 999 calls in the Emergency Call Centre in Broomfield Hospital, Chelmsford as part of their duty rota.

The response cars will carry full life-saving equipment and drugs exactly like the helicopters enabling them to continue to offer the most appropriate and advanced emergency department level of care at the scene. Unlike the helicopters, the cars are not weather dependent thereby improving the resilience of the service, so that advanced care can be provided to patients whatever the weather, day or night.

Ben Myer, Deputy Clinical Manager/Response Car Project Lead at Essex & Herts Air Ambulance Trust, said: “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 two Vauxhall Insignia VXR’s fitted with state of the art blue lights and bespoke livery. We would like to thank all the car manufacturers who took part in the trial, Vauxhall Special Vehicles for their work in securing the vehicles, EssexEmergency2000 for their continued support and hard work in applying the blue lights, Full Circle who have provided the livery, Perception.Co for designing the artwork and finally to the East of England Ambulance Service for their support of the project.”

Dr Adam Chesters, Clinical Research & Training Lead at Essex & Herts Air Ambulance Trust, adds: Deploying a car-based Doctor/Paramedic team is an exciting 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.”

Photo – Dr Ainsley Heyworth (EHAAT HEMS Doctor) and Jo Lambert (EHAAT HEMS Paramedic) with the new response cars

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