1. ITV Report

East Anglian Air Ambulance to become first in the east to operate its life-saving helicopter 24 hours a day

EAAA will be the first in the East to operate its life-saving helicopter 24/7 Credit: EAAA

Building work starts today on a new base for the East Anglian Air Ambulance at Norwich Airport. When finished, the charity will be able to operate its Norfolk-based and community funded helicopter 24 hours a day. This will make it the first air ambulance in the East of England to do so.

The teams of doctors and critical care paramedics already operate 24/7 via a rapid response vehicle from Norwich. But by flying from Norwich in the near future, they say they will be able to serve the region even better by attending hundreds more patients a year.

“This is a really big moment for the charity and it’s only possible thanks to the generosity of our supporters across East Anglia who, over nearly twenty years, have been supporting us and helping us grow our operation to continue helping more and more people. We believe the time of day or night shouldn’t dictate what type of emergency medical care is available in East Anglia."

– Patrick Peal, EAAA CEO
Staff, supporters and volunteers are all mucking in to help start the building works Credit: EAAA

The new base will cost around seven million pounds, all funded by donations.

“Going to 24/7 by helicopter has been dependent on funding and space. We rely on the community to keep us airborne so to achieve this ambition we asked our supporters to help us raise an additional £1 million a year going forward to fund the extra flying hours to continue to develop and deliver a 24/7 service for the community, and have invested historic legacy donations in the future of our operation in the new 24/7 base.”

– Patrick Peal

The charity says the new base will also provide essential rest and welfare facilities for their night crew by creating a space fit to house the operational staff for years to come. It will also be equipped with a state-of-the-art training to to help the crews keep up-to-date with their vital training.

Building works are expected to be completed by late 2020 and will not interrupt the charity’s day-to-day operation.