St Albans hear from Essex & Herts Air Ambulance volunteer
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Wednesday 10th February 2021

“It costs £25,000 a day to keep the Essex & Herts Air Ambulance operations going”, volunteer Peter Hennessey told St Albans United Synagogue members during a Zoom presentation at which he spoke about the life-saving work that the charity undertakes seven days a week and, latterly, 24 hours a day. Which meant that the immediate donations for the evening were enough, worked out our in-house mathematician, minister Rabbi Daniel Sturgess, to fund the organisation for just seven minutes!

Further pledges of support were definitely on the cards, however, as audience members heard more about the history, aims and activities of the Air Ambulance Service, which receives no direct government funding or National Lottery money. Instead, it relies almost entirely on the generosity and goodwill of the residents of Herts and Essex to provide the advanced on-site medical care that can make a life or death difference.   

The red and yellow striped Essex & Herts helicopters are no longer an unfamiliar sight when we look up. And when you think of both the human as well as the financial cost of providing the kind of service we have come to expect, these guys really are “the heroes of the skies”, as Peter’s talk was titled. And as our chairman, Elissa Da Costa-Waldman, put it: “We should really appreciate what they do, because one day, the life they save, may be our own!”

By Jeanette Grenby