Jane Gurney said: “The handing over of this building marks yet another milestone in what is a very important project for the charity. The opportunity to design and build our own airbase has allowed us to include elements such as dedicated areas for training, which will benefit not only our crews, but also the local pre-hospital care community, along with an interactive visitor centre for our supporters, who we look forward to welcoming to this incredible new building when such visits become possible again.
On behalf of the Trustees and the Executive Team, I would like to thank Barnes Construction, associated partners and suppliers for all their hard work and support in seeing this project through to completion in such a professional manner, especially with the added pressures the pandemic presented.
I would also like to thank our amazing fundraisers and donors for helping us secure the future operation of the charity at North Weald for many years to come by supporting us and making this possible.”
Training for medical crews
In addition to housing one of EHAAT’s two helicopters and two of its rapid response vehicles, the new building has areas for training, mentoring, patient liaison and fundraising. There is space for cross training with other emergency services, which will benefit both EHAAT and the local pre-hospital care community. Part of the new airbase will be a dedicated interactive visitor centre which will allow the charity to welcome and engage with the local community.
The new building, which includes a hangar which is capable of housing two helicopters when necessary (for example, to permit aircraft maintenance) has underground heating beneath the helipad to keep it free of snow and ice during the winter months.