Motorbike and dog walk events will help raise money for life-saving air ambulance

PUBLISHED: 09:54 07 March 2019 | UPDATED: 09:58 07 March 2019

EHAAT provides a Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) for the critically ill and injured

EHAAT provides a Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) for the critically ill and injured

Archant

A motorbike run and dog walk will be among the upcoming events which will help to raise money for life-saving air ambulance treatments.

Helen Weston with pilot Nick Clarkson and pre-hospital care doctor Kosti Koivisto-KokkoHelen Weston with pilot Nick Clarkson and pre-hospital care doctor Kosti Koivisto-Kokko

The Essex & Herts Air Ambulance Trust (EHAAT) is a charity that provides emergency medical services for the critically ill and injured.

Unlike other NHS emergency services, the EHAAT receives no direct funding from the government or National Lottery. Instead, money is raised through the charity’s `Flight For Life’ lottery and a series of fundraising events and initiatives.

Their next event will be on May 12, when thousands of motorcyclists will line up in Welwyn Garden City for the start of the annual Motorcycle Run to the EHAAT Airbase at North Weald. Following on from this is the `Heli Hounds’ dog walk and dog show at Hatfield House on June 9. A week later on June 15, there will be an `Entertainment Pop-Up’ event in Stevenage town centre.

These events will help to fund life-saving treatments for victims like Helen Weston from Hertfordshire.

Bikers gathered at Herts Police HQ in Welwyn for the 2018 Motorcycle RunBikers gathered at Herts Police HQ in Welwyn for the 2018 Motorcycle Run

In February 2018, Helen was moments away from finishing a long bike ride when she was struck by a car which hadn’t spotted her. When the EHAAT critical care team arrived, she was disorientated and agitated after suffering a serious head injury. The team gave her some strong sedatives prior to her anaesthetic to help keep her calm, oxygenated and reduce the risk of permanent brain damage. They decided that Helen needed to be flown to The Royal London Hospital—the nearest Major Trauma Centre.

“I was about three quarters of the way around a roundabout when a car coming up from the dual carriageway on my left just didn’t stop,” says Helen.

“I broke four bones in my face and skull and had lots of grazing and cuts in and around my mouth. I broke my left wrist and my right thumb at the base, which required surgery. There was lots of bruising all over me.”

A few months after the incident, one of EHAAT’s helicopters had to land in a park near where Helen lives.

“When it lifted off we could see it from our garden, and that gave me a bit of a funny feeling seeing it so close doing its job,” continues Helen.

“I was a supporter beforehand, and after what the Air Ambulance has done for me, I plan to continue supporting it. It’s an amazing service.”

EHAAT had its busiest year yet in 2018, with the charity’s helicopters and rapid response vehicles attending a total of 1,491 patients.

Each critical care team at EHAAT consists of a pre-hospital doctor and specially trained critical care paramedic, who work closely with colleagues from other emergency services such as Hertfordshire Constabulary and Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Stuart Elms, clinical director at EHAAT, says: “The need for the charity’s life-saving service is as strong now as it was 20 years ago when our first helicopter, covering just Essex, took to the air with two paramedics in 1998.

“With the help of our supporters across Essex and Hertfordshire, we will continue to develop our service.”

Each month it costs more than £750,000 to keep the service operational and cover all charitable costs—money which comes from the generosity of the people and businesses of Essex, Hertfordshire and beyond.

For more information about EHAAT, visit ehaat.org.

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