About Us | Essex Air Ambulance

About Essex Air Ambulance

Essex Air Ambulance is a Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS); providing a free life-saving service for Essex and surrounding areas. Specialist Doctors and Critical Care Paramedics can be rushed to the scene of an incident with life-saving support equipment and the patient, following assessment, will be flown to an appropriate hospital. 

Unlike NHS emergency services Essex Air Ambulance is a Charity relying solely upon the generosity and goodwill of the people and businesses of Essex to remain operational and saving lives.

The Essex Air Ambulance charity was established and began fundraising in 1997 with the first Air Ambulance, a Bolkow 105 Db, being launched in July 1998 from New Hall School in Boreham. During the past 15 years there have been 4 aircraft in service. The first two helicopters were Bolkows with bright red livery, later to be resprayed yellow following a sponsorship deal with the AA. In May 2003 thanks to the passion and fundraising of the County, the charity was in a position to commission a new state of the art aircraft, the Eurocopter EC135 T2. Now, as of 1 June 2010 Essex Air Ambulance have a new helicopter, an MD902 Explorer, the same model as the Herts Air Ambulance also operated by Specialist Aviation Services (SAS).

The helicopter is powered by 2 Pratt and Whitney 206E engines. It also has full single engine capacity allowing it to fly and land with one engine if necessary. Operating 7 days a week during daylight hours the MD 902 Explorer takes off within 2 minutes of the emergency call being received at the airbase and is deployed on average 2-3 times each day.

Based at Earls Colne near Colchester, the helicopter is never more than eight minutes flying time from any one of the major hospitals in Essex and flies at a speed of 150 miles per hour.

It costs over £500,000 every month to keep both helicopters flying and to cover all charitable costs - that’s around £6.5million a year. It is thanks to the generous people of Essex that we can ensure that the service continues to fly into the future.

Our Charity’s Pledge to You

Our vision is to provide the people of Essex and Hertfordshire with the highest quality doctor/paramedic life-saving service, 24/7.

As a Charity, we rely on the generous support of the people and businesses of both counties to keep our life-saving helicopters flying.  That’s why we work hard to ensure the very highest standards of fundraising, to build a strong and sustainable future for our work. 

Essex & Herts Air Ambulance Trust is a member of the Institute of Fundraising, the Fundraising Standards Board, the Gambling Commission and The Lotteries Council. We abide by, and aim to exceed, the code of conduct requirements for each of these organisations, as well as for the Charity Commission for England and Wales.

Our supporters can be reassured that we put their interests at the heart of our fundraising activities. We will not share donor data with third parties or keep donor’s details on file if we have been asked to remove them.

Our actions are guided by our values – passionate in going the extra mile, professional in treating everyone as they would wish to be treated, innovative in driving forward best clinical practice, trustworthy in working openly and honestly and dedicated because we care about the cause, our patients and each other.

Mission statement 

Our aim is to save lives, reduce or prevent disability, or suffering from critical illness and injury, by delivering a first class pre-hospital emergency medical service to the people of Essex, Hertfordshire and surrounding areas. 

Our highly skilled and specially trained Pre-hospital Care Doctors and Critical Care Paramedics work alongside our regional partners using helicopters and rapid response vehicles fitted with state-of-the-art life-saving equipment. Our clinical teams are dispatched by the East of England Ambulance Service Trust.

We are here to assist everyone who lives, works, or is travelling through the region, the service is provided by the Charity free of charge to patients of all ages, from every background and faith, who require the most advanced critical care.