Bishop's Stortford Ford dealer Gates marks 100th anniversary by supporting Essex & Herts Air Ambulance
Ford dealer Gates is celebrating its 100th anniversary by supporting the lifesaving work of Essex & Herts Air Ambulance Trust (EHAAT).
The family-owned car business, which has a dealership in Stansted Road, Bishop's Stortford, has offered the helicopter emergency medical service use of a Ford Mondeo throughout 2020.
And it is helping to future-proof the charity's Blood on Board initiative by supplying a Ford Kuga to Essex Voluntary Blood Service (EVBS).
EHAAT, which recently carried out its 25,00th mission since it was founded 21 years ago, had its busiest ever year in 2019, attending 1,526 patients, up 35 (2.3%) on 2018. Its two helicopters and four rapid response vehicles (RRVs) were dispatched 2,238 times.
During the day, from 7am until 8pm, the service uses helicopters based at North Weald and Earls Colne airbases. An RRV is used before sunrise, after sunset or when the helicopter is unable to fly because of poor weather or maintenance. At night, from 7.30pm to 7.30am, the service is provided using an RRV based at North Weald.
Each helicopter team consists of two pilots, a pre-hospital care doctor and a critical care paramedic. The RRVs are crewed by a pre-hospital care doctor and a critical care paramedic and carry the same life-saving equipment as the choppers.
The services are provided free of charge but, unlike NHS emergency services, the charity receives limited direct funding from the Government and none from the National Lottery. It costs more than £750,000 a month to keep the service operational and cover costs.
Heath Greenall, chairman and fifth generation of the Gates family, said: "We are delighted to support both Essex & Herts Air Ambulance Trust and Essex Voluntary Blood Service, and thereby the local communities in this our 100th year."
More by this authorMichael Vaughton