Essex County Fire and Rescue Service


Crews from Epping and Billericay guests at Royal Visit

Crews from Epping and Billericay were guests at a visit by Their Royal Highnesses The Earl and Countess of Wessex to Essex & Herts Air Ambulance’s (EHAAT) airbase at North Weald on Tuesday March 1.

EHAAT is a local life-saving charity and works alongside the hospitals, emergency services and supporting organisations across the region. The visit was an opportunity to bring everyone together at EHAAT’s new airbase at North Weald, enabling The Earl and Countess to say thank you to some of these organisations for their outstanding hard work during the pandemic.

On first arriving at North Weald, The Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire and Vice Lord Lieutenant of Essex greeted The Earl and Countess, and introduced them to Jane Gurney, CEO of EHAAT. Their Royal Highnesses then toured the new airbase, where they spent time with representatives from the local hospitals in the region and then spoke to air lifted patients and their families to hear first-hand about their experiences. 

The highlight of the Royal visit took place at the front of the building where people had gathered representing the emergency services and voluntary support organisations, together with the members of the armed forces and many EHAAT charity staff and volunteers. The Earl and Countess took the opportunity to stop and speak to individuals and thank them for the work they do.

Representatives from the emergency services were invited to attend the event along with Deputy Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, Jane Gardner.

Station Manager Dave Bond said: “Seeing everyone together really highlighted just how many agencies work together at incidents. It was a good opportunity to catch up outside of a live incident, share learning and build relationships. We got to speak to the HRH The Countess of Wessex and she thanked as all for our work, especially during the pandemic.”

Jane Gardner said: “Being part of this special VIP visit was a fantastic opportunity to meet the team at EHAAT and learn more about the life saving work they do for the critically ill and injured people across Essex and Hertfordshire.  More importantly it was great for the team to be recognised and thanked for their hard work and dedication throughout the pandemic and for continuing to be there when people need them the most.”

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