Essex Air Ambulance On The Air

PUBLISHED: 10:25 10 July 2020



In support of the Essex Air Ambulance, a team of amateur radio operators took to the air between the 28th of September and the 4th of October, making contact with hundreds of other “radio hams” across Europe. The event was part of International Air Ambulance Week, a radio event that saw 20 amateur radio stations across the UK operating in support of their own local air ambulance service. In Essex, a team of local amateurs from Essex Ham set up radio stations at the Earls Colne Airfield, near Colchester. The airfield is home to the Essex Air Ambulance, and the team set up their radio equipment and aerials at the Anglian Flight Centres, in sight of the airbase helipad. Contact was made with around 200 amateur radio operators across the UK and Europe, helping to raise awareness for need to make donations to keep the Essex Air Ambulance service flying. After returning from their third mission of the day, the crew took time to try their hand on-air, with Critical Care Paramedic Louise Rosson and Critical Care Doctor Matt O'Mara taking the microphone to talk to amateurs around the country. The Essex and Herts Air Ambulances need to raise £440,000 a month to keep the craft in the air performing their vital life-saving service. Essex Air Ambulance pilot Captain Nicky Smith: The raising of funds is a massive task. It’s a really difficult job raising £440,000 every month and we’d like to send a huge thank you to everyone who supports us. It’s your air ambulance – it belongs to the community and we can’t fly without you. In addition to the pilot, each mission flown by the Essex Air Ambulance carries a Paramedic and a Doctor, as Critical Care Doctor Matt O'Mara explains: We try to focus our efforts on the sickest and the most injured patients out there whose needs aren’t necessarily going to be met by the statutory ambulance service. It’s the people of Essex who own the Air Ambulance who very generously go out and raise money, such that when we do land, local people in Essex recognise that it’s their air ambulance. Pete Sipple M0PSX, Essex Ham: As a team of local amateur radio operators, it’s great to have the chance to support International Air Ambulance Week to raise awareness of the importance that donations play in keeping the service in the air. Amateur radio is a hobby that encourages communication and friendship over the airwaves, and this event has given us the chance to share the message with amateurs across the UK and Europe, as well as making contact with other air ambulance stations across the country. Note to Editors: Hi-res photos: More information on Essex Air Ambulance: More information on Amateur Radio in Essex: Contact: Pete Sipple, Essex Ham: 07702-384813

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