East Anglian Air Ambulance

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Babcock MCS Onshore has been providing mission critical support to East Anglian Air Ambulance since 2011 and currently operates two H145 aircraft for the charity. During 2013 they were called out on average 32 times a week and attended 1,670 missions. The aircraft can reach the most remote locations within 25 minutes to begin lifesaving treatment. Transporting the most critically ill and injured to the most appropriate hospital is a key factor in the success of this service.

However, today’s air ambulance helicopters don’t just transport patients swiftly and safely from the scene of an incident to hospital. Now more than ever they are custom-designed to carry the latest on-board medical technologies, and are crewed with specialist staff, meaning they can deliver life-saving capabilities to where they are most needed – fast.

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The aircraft – Anglia One and Anglia Two – are based at Cambridge and Norwich. In 2013 the charity became the first in the UK to start Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) operations in darkness after receiving certification to use night vision goggles. In 2015 the charity became the first in the UK to operate the new H145 aircraft when Babcock MCS Onshore introduced the new capability fronm Cambridge airport.

The H145, with a large interior, can carry two pilots, three medical crew and a patient. It also has more room for medical staff to attend to patients with hospital-quality equipment and expertise during flight and it has a greater range than the EC135, with the ability to fly for more than 300 miles, depending on the load.

The specially designed aircraft systems on board includes an external steerable searchlight, powerline detection system, digital mapping with a powerline overlay and a fully compatible Night Vision Imaging Systems cockpit to complete this NVIS certified aircraft. As well as the two aircraft, Babcock MCS Onshore provides two engineers in the region and two pilots at each base.

Paul Westaway, Director of Customer Services at Babcock MCS Onshore said:

“Starting night operations was a significant step for East Anglian Air Ambulance, but one that several other charities are now taking. We worked closely with them throughout the process and are proud that they were able to fly more than 100 missions in the hours of darkness in the first years of operations.

In April 2015 East Anglian Air Ambulance became the first in the UK to operate the new H145 aircraft, giving them a new capability with a larger, faster and more powerful helicopter, flown by two Babcock MCS Onshore personnel – a pilot and a co-pilot."

Key facts

• Babcock MCS Onshore flies close to 150 missions a month for EAAA

• The aircraft are dispatched by specially trained paramedics at the 999 call centre

• The normal cruising speed for an EAAA helicopter is 150mph