Friday, 30 April 2021 00:00

EAAA crew move into new Norwich headquarters as they prepare to fly 24/7

Written by  Kat Lawson-Phillips
Rate this item
(0 votes)
Image courtesy Blue Sky UAV Image courtesy Blue Sky UAV

Life-saving crews from East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA) have moved into their new Norwich headquarters, ahead of planned 24/7 operations later this summer.

The charity, which has been operating from temporary accommodation for over a year, launched its mission to deliver a 24/7 air ambulance service in the East of England back in 2019. This week, despite delays due to the pandemic, that goal is one step closer as its life-saving crews have moved into the charity’s newly built 24/7 operating base at Norwich Airport.

The Anglia One helicopter team will start flying 24/7 from the base in late June, after a short settling-in period.

Funded through generous gifts in Wills, the £7 million development will enable the charity to finally have the training, rest and welfare facilities required for a fully 24/7 helicopter operation and will make EAAA the first air ambulance in the East of England to fly round the clock.

By flying 24/7 the charity estimates it could be tasked by helicopter up to 600 more times a year, delivering critical care to those in need faster at night and closing the five-and-a-half-hour gap where there is currently no helicopter coverage in the region (between 1:30am and 7:00am).

The charity’s doctor and critical care paramedic teams are currently available 24/7 from both its Norwich and Cambridge bases, with the night shifts predominantly facilitated  by rapid response vehicle (RRV). From July 2019 to June 2020 the EAAA night teams were tasked more than 500 times by RRV between the hours of 7pm and 7am.

EAAA has been flying until at least midnight from Cambridge since 2013, (flying hours were extended to 1:30am in 2019)  providing some night helicopter coverage for the region. With a 24/7 helicopter service EAAA could help even more patients and reach them faster.

Planning was officially granted for the base in November 2019 with ground works starting in January 2020. Construction was halted by the coronavirus pandemic but is only six months behind the original schedule.

The new purpose-built base provides a world-class facility which will help the charity reach this long-term goal to be there for people when needed, as well as future proof the organisation and bring all of its Norwich-based teams under one roof for the first time. The base also includes a community hub and training and conference facilities, as well as an immersive training suite for its clinical teams.

Patrick Peal, CEO of EAAA, said: “This week has truly been a huge milestone for EAAA and for the whole community, who have helped to fund this enormous project through several years of generous donations, largely through gifts left to the charity in supporter’s wills. Our previous headquarters were incredibly cramped, in need of several improvements and we were renting additional office space elsewhere in Norwich. The new base solves these problems and gives us extra facilities as well as room to grow in the future.

“We’ve dreamt of being able to fly 24/7 for years as we’re fiercely passionate about making sure the same standard of critical care is available, by helicopter, right across East Anglia no matter what time of day or night it is. We know people don’t stop having cardiac arrests, strokes or road traffic collisions when the helicopter goes offline, and we have been working towards this goal for several years. Now, that goal is just a couple of months away. 

“The base itself is just one part of that; we’ve also been concentrating on increasing our yearly fundraising target to make sure we can finance the extra flying hours alongside planning for the base. The support for our Mission 24/7 campaign over the last two years has been tremendous and even though our finances have been affected over the past 12 months, and we’re expecting a deficit this financial year, we’re confident we have the reserves and the fundraising plans in place to still make this happen.

“Although I will soon be retiring from my role as CEO of this incredible charity, I’m immensely proud to have seen this ambition of ours come together over the last few years and that we will be able to start flying 24/7 in late June, thanks to the amazing support of the people of Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire.”

Developing the new 24/7 base has included purchasing the land for the base, making EAAA a property owner for the first time which will save costs in the future. Not only has this enabled the charity to create a truly bespoke facility to best suit its unique needs, it has also meant that the building could be designed with long term durability in mind and to minimise future running costs.

EAAA aims to raise £15 million a year to deliver and develop its service. This summer the charity is holding three Trek 24 events across the region to help raise funds for its Mission 24/7 campaign. Supporters can take on either a 24 kilometre or 24 mile route in Norfolk, Suffolk or Bedfordshire later this summer to help raise vital funds.

For more info go to www.eaaa.org.uk

Anglia_One_and_crew_on_the_helipad_at_the_new_base_for_the_first_time_edited.jpg

Last modified on Friday, 30 April 2021 19:42

Visit the following businesses

cache/resized/9b75cfd12f389ce751ac33d384bb7a08.jpg
Virginia Court Hotel
The Virginia Court Hotel in Cromer North Norfolk is an independently owned 23 bedroom seaside hotel, offering overnight accommodation to suit everyone’s needs. This stunning Norfolk Hotel offers suites, superking bedded, twins, doubles and single ...
Explore
cache/resized/22205586a278b803678a6b5eaa94cbb9.jpg
Belmont House
Minutes from the sea, on the stunning North Norfolk coast, this lovely, large Victorian cottage, built 1897 in traditional red brick, is furnished and equipped to a high standard throughout. Situated on a quiet road in Heacham ...
Explore
cache/resized/243eec81b1dcf538d0dfd1ebcb8223d7.jpg
Toilets+
For over 25 years, Toilets+ have been the leading provider of portable toilets within Norfolk, in addition to the South and Central England, as well as the Midlands. With many different locations across the UK, we are able to expand our services to ...
Explore
cache/resized/f1d793b8d861794e67ae01a5536c03b7.jpg
Sirius Training & Certifications Ltd
STC is proud to be recognized as a BRC ATP (approved training partner) and also an approved Highfield Training Centre.STC is a BRC Approved Training Partner, we also deliver Highfield Food Safety & Train the Trainer training courses, all in a ...
Explore
cache/resized/8c633440053520b35121955e716f75e9.jpg
Perfect Pamper
Perfect Pamper is a one-stop-shop for your party requirements.  We cover the counties of Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk providing you with mobile services delivered directly to your door.  We offer a spa-by-car service with a pop-up salon for ...
Explore
cache/resized/308ff32c4fc291d5448f874611d50a9e.jpg
Netmatters Ltd
Netmatters Ltd is a leading web design, IT support and digital marketing agency based in Wymondham, Norfolk. Founded in 2008, for more than a decade we have been working with businesses in a wide variety of industries across the UK from our Norfolk ...
Explore
benefits banner

Related items

  • East Anglian Air Ambulance named the Best Charity to Work For with national award

    East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA) has been awarded the top spot in this year’s Best Companies list for the Charity Sector for its exceptional employee engagement and support during the pandemic.

    The charity has also been recognised as the 6th Best Company to Work For in the East of England in the 2021 Best Companies listings and 14th in the Top 100 Mid-Sized Companies to Work For in the UK (for private companies and not-for-profits).

    These national awards are based on the results of an employee feedback and engagement survey which feeds into regional, national and sector league tables. These fantastic results recognise the charity’s long-standing commitment to creating a fantastic place of work to support the life-saving organisation’s number one priority: delivering an excellent service for its patients. And that the organisation went above and beyond during the pandemic to support its staff, keep people connected and promote well-being. 

  • EAAA agrees new multi-year aviation contract with Babcock to keep service flying

    East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA) and its aviation partner Babcock have announced a significant new multi-year contract to keep the helicopter emergency medical service flying high and saving lives 24/7 into the next decade.

    EAAA has two state-of-the-art helicopters covering the region, one based in Norwich and one in Cambridge, which are currently supplied by Babcock. The new contract crucially covers the introduction of 24/7 flying and follows a detailed examination by the charity of all potential UK helicopter operators, in order to find the right partnership to deliver the service into the future. 

    Babcock will continue as EAAA’s exclusive aviation partner for at least the next seven years, providing EAAA with advanced helicopters, ground support, engineering and pilots. 

    Matthew Jones, Director of Operations at EAAA, said: “In the 10 years we have partnered with Babcock we have been impressed with their commitment to safe and increasingly effective air ambulance operations. This new contract means we can continue to work together to deliver, and improve, the critical emergency response we are proud to offer to the people of East Anglia." 

  • Were you the first EAAA patient?

    20 years ago on 9 February, East Anglian Air Ambulance flew its very first official mission, to help someone in Norfolk in a serious condition.

    At this point, the charity, which was set up a few months earlier, in September 2000, only had enough funds to fly once a week, and did so on a Friday.

    The helicopter was a black Bolkow 105, built in 1977, and was also used as a police helicopter. The crew was a single pilot and two paramedics, different to the double pilot and doctor and critical care paramedic teams who operate today.  

    Records show the first flight was at 16:00pm on Friday 9 February, with a total flight time of 25 mins, covering the flight to the incident scene and back again. The crew were back on base by 16:55pm, which indicates that on the very first mission the patient was not transferred to hospital in the air ambulance, but help was provided on-scene.

  • Air Ambulance helps one year old Charlie

    East Anglian Air Ambulance is sharing a story about a one-year-old child who suffered serious burns whilst on holiday in Norfolk, to raise awareness for the charity and its Virtual Gifts Chrsitmas appeal.

    In July, the Day family, from North London, were enjoying a summer break at Fritton Lake, near Great Yarmouth. Dad Chris, mum Bailyn and one-year-old Charlie were getting ready to leave the lodge, packing up for the trip ahead. Unfortunately, as lunch was being prepared, Charlie excitedly burst into the kitchen. Within seconds, he had reached up onto the kitchen counter and pulled a pan of boiling hot water all over his chest, torso and face, causing him to scream out instantly in incredible pain.  

    Charlie’s parents rushed him into the shower to try and cool the burns down as quickly as possible and dialled 999. An ambulance was dispatched whilst Charlie’s family tried to follow the advice of the call handler, but his condition wasn’t getting any better and the situation was escalating quickly. Recognising that Charlie would most likely need specialist treatment, the Anglia One team from Norwich was also dispatched. 

  • Air Ambulance reveals 24/7 plans are still a reality

    East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA) has revealed that despite a challenging year, plans to start flying 24/7 from its new Norwich headquarters are on track for 2021.

    This week, the charity’s Chief Executive Patrick Peal visited the site of EAAA’s new 24/7 base at Norwich Airport to mark the end of exterior building works, which have been delayed by 16 weeks due to the pandemic. 

    The £7 million base project was started in January of this year and was originally planned to be finished by the end of 2020. The new base is a key development in enabling the charity to start flying 24/7, from a state of the art purpose-built facility, with improved rest and welfare facilities for the crew. 

    The funds for the base were ringfenced from years of generous gifts in Wills and committed before the Covid-19 pandemic hit.

Newsletter

© All Things Norfolk 2008 - 2021
Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

RT @theVW1: @atnorfolk @PBHospice @EDP24 Perfect weather to visit this lovely garden at The Old Rectory at Kirby Bedon in aid of the Prisci…