ESSEX & Herts Air Ambulance’s (EHAAT) new airbase at North Weald became operational this week when a critical care team based at North Weald was tasked with its first mission by the East of England Ambulance Service Trust, to an incident in Bishop’s Stortford.
Cliff Gale, EHAAT’s Operations Director, said:
“The first mission from our new airbase is a historic landmark for the charity, and we would like to thank all of our amazing supporters who have made this first-class facility possible.
“This first mission is the culmination of a great deal of commitment, planning and hard work. We are delighted to see our crews operational from the new base by helicopter and rapid response vehicle. This building will give the charity a home for decades to come with facilities that will allow us to continue providing a world-class clinical service.”
Stuart Elms, EHAAT’s Clinical Director, said:
“After years of planning and preparation, it is great to see this state-of-the-art building being used as a base from which our highly skilled pre-hospital care teams can attend critically ill and injured patients across Essex, Hertfordshire and the surrounding areas.
“I’m delighted for the charity, our supporters, our clinicians and our patients as it will be central to how we deliver care and how we continue to improve outstanding patient care.”
The new purpose-built airbase was completed in February 2021 and replaces a leased facility nearby. A time-lapse video showing the complete build can be viewed at https://www.ehaat.org/north-weald-airbase/.
It includes dedicated areas for training which will benefit not only EHAAT’s crews and the local pre-hospital care community, along with an interactive visitor centre for supporters, who we look forward to welcoming to this incredible new building when such visits become possible again once government restrictions are fully lifted.
The new airbase includes a hangar that is capable of housing two helicopters when necessary for aircraft maintenance and has underground heating beneath the helipad to keep it free of snow and ice during the winter months.
It has been designed with ‘green’ issues very much to the fore. Photovoltaic panels on the roof mean that the building generates more electricity than it uses with the excess sold to the national grid. Electric vehicle charging points enable users of electric vehicles to charge them.
There is bicycle parking for staff who wish to cycle to work, and as much waste as possible will be recycled. The building has been well insulated in order to retain heat and reduce noise pollution, and it makes as much use as possible of natural light in order to save on electricity.
This exciting day really does mark an important milestone in the charity’s history, and the whole team would like to thank everyone involved in this project.
For more information about EHAAT and its work, please visit: ehaat.org.