20 years ago, on 6 September 2000, a new charity was formed to help save lives across East Anglia: the East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA). Operating initially just one day a week, on a Friday from Norwich Airport, with one paramedic, this was the start of an important lifeline for many local people.
Today, the start of National Air Ambulance Week, EAAA can reveal that over the last 20 years it has flown almost 30,000 missions and helped almost 20,000 patients, all thanks to the generosity of local people.
At a time of so much uncertainty, the charity, which needs to raise £13 million a year to develop and deliver its service, and is aiming to start flying 24/7 for the first time next year, is deeply grateful for the public support which has enabled it to pass this milestone.
To thank the community which keeps it flying and saving lives, EAAA has released a short film which explores some of the charity’s key achievements over the last 20 years, how the service has grown and showcases some of the people it has helped.
CEO Patrick Peal said:
“EAAA is a unique life-line for anyone in East Anglia; we are incredibly proud to be here today, having kept flying throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, and to see such a high need for our crews over the last few months. We know we’re providing an essential service for the people of East Anglia and we’re so, so thankful for all the support we have received over the last 20 years. We really couldn’t be here without the community that funds our life-saving work. A huge heartfelt thank you from all of us to everyone who has supported us over the years.”
EAAA has grown to operate two helicopters across the region carrying a highly-skilled emergency medicine Doctor and a Critical Care Paramedic, always taking the A and E department to the patient, no matter what the type of medical emergency. In 2012, after a lengthy and arduous development programme, EAAA became the first helicopter emergency medical service (HEMS) in the country to start flying at night to unlit sites, which enabled the charity to reach more people in their worst moments.
Today, EAAA is 24/7 by rapid response vehicle from both of its bases and planning to extend its HEMS service to 24/7 coverage next year, to ensure the provision of the very best emergency care to those in need, whenever it is needed.
EAAA does not receive regular government funding and is kept airborne thanks to the generosity of local people. For that, the charity would like to say ‘thank you’ to the community which has kept it flying for the last 20 years.
Join in ‘Together We Run’ 2000 mile challenge 14th – 20th September.
To help keep EAAA’s yellow helicopters operational, next week EAAA is encouraging its supporters to raise funds for the service by helping to complete a collective 2000 mile run or walk, to tie in with the anniversary milestone.
Pledge your miles and take part whenever and wherever you like. Sign up by midnight on Sunday 13th September to join one of the ‘Together We Run’ virtual teams and for your miles to count towards the final total. For more information and to sign up, go to www.eaaa.org.uk/werun