East Anglian Air Ambulance to go 24/7

26 February 2019, 07:32 | Updated: 26 February 2019, 07:33

East Anglian Air Ambulance

The East Anglian Air Ambulance wants to go 24/7 - so it can save lives round-the-clock.

It flew 149 missions in Essex last year.

But at the moment, it's not fully operational between midnight and 7am.

It's launched a campaign to change that by 2020, and is asking for people's support - because it will cost an extra £1 million each year.

"We still have a gap in our service between midnight and seven o'clock in the morning when there is no helicopter available across the whole of the East of England," said EAAA Chief Executive Patrick Peal.

"So we've done some analysis with the ambulance service about 999 calls over the last few years, and it's clear that if we were available between midnight and 7am with our helicopter and our critical care team, there would be about another 600 missions a year that we would be called out for."

Steve Jones is supporting the EAAA's campaign. He was treated by the air ambulance after a motorbike crash last summer.

"It could happen to any of us at any one time," he warned.

"For me, I was on a motorcycle - it could happen to a car driver, pedestrian, and we don't know when we might need these guys to literally save our lives.

"When you've got incidents and emergencies where time is of the essence they can get you where you need to be.

"And that can make the difference between life and death."