09 December 2021
East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA) in Norwich has been awarded a Memorial Project plaque by the Norfolk Lieutenancy, to commemorate the air ambulance community’s resilience and service during the year of the pandemic.
The Lord-Lieutenant of Norfolk, The Lady Dannatt, MBE, visited the EAAA headquarters in Norwich yesterday to present the plaque which recognises the air ambulance charity for its resilience and special service to the Norfolk community during the year of the Covid pandemic. The plaque will be proudly displayed in the main reception of EAAA’s new 24-hour operational base, Helimed House, at Norwich Airport.
During 2020 and 2021, EAAA maintained its life-saving service while operating under the very difficult conditions presented by the pandemic and the need to wear full protective clothing when responding to 999 calls. EAAA also assisted the NHS with inter-hospital transfers of sedated Covid-19 patients, to alleviate pressure in intensive care units for the busiest hospitals in the region. These patients had to be transferred by land ambulance and the level of care required to move these critically ill patients safely, often over long distances, was extremely challenging for the EAAA doctor and critical care paramedic teams involved.
All of this was made possible by the generous support of the community which responded magnificently to EAAA’s emergency Covid appeal, to purchase personal protective equipment (PPE), and due to the resilience and strength of all members on the EAAA team during this time. During the plaque presentation, the Lord-Lieutenant was briefed on current operations and given a tour of the new 24-hour base.
Matthew Jones, CEO, of East Anglian Air Ambulance, said: “Speaking on behalf of everyone at East Anglian Air Ambulance, we are absolutely delighted to receive this plaque in recognition of our Covid response. I am immensely proud that we were able to continue our service throughout the pandemic and know how hard all of our teams worked to make sure that our crews could continue to be there for our patients, as well as providing additional support, when needed, to local hospitals in transferring Covid-19 patients between intensive care units.
“None of this would have been possible without the fantastic support we received from the community when we asked for help in purchasing personal protective equipment for our frontline team members. This plaque will be proudly displayed in our main reception, to remind us all of the challenges we faced, and continue to face, in fighting Covid-19.”
“The commemorative plaques were commissioned to mark the courage, generosity and determination during the pandemic. The EAAA was able to keep flying and responding to 999 calls throughout, including transferring COVID-19 patients between intensive care units. Local people helped purchase PPE equipment to enable the EAAA to continue their vital work and we owe our profuse thanks to everyone at the EAAA.”
HM Lord-Lieutenant of Norfolk