Time really is flying for the Herts Air Ambulance as it prepares to celebrate its second anniversary.

The charity will host a spectacular Hangar Party, sponsored by Edgeward, at North Weald on Friday, November 12, where the fantastic achievements of fundraisers, supporters, volunteers and crew will be celebrated.

The Herts Air Ambulance, unlike NHS emergency services, is a charity providing a free life-saving Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) taking doctors and paramedics to patients who are in need of urgent pre-hospital care and flying them to the most appropriate hospital in minutes.

Accidents and illnesses happen and when they do, patients, whatever their age, circumstances or location need specialist treatment fast.

The speed with which the air ambulance doctors and paramedics can reach a patient, identify and administer processes to slow, halt or even reverse the effects of life-threatening injury, is crucial in helping to save the patient and return them to full health.

Patients can be airlifted to the most appropriate hospital quickly, maximising the aircraft’s unique advantage of speed and versatility when minutes can make all the difference between life and death.

The Herts Air Ambulance and its crew have attended more than 500 incidents, their work is diverse and challenging but the aim is always the same – to provide the best possible care quickly and efficiently.

Stuart Elms, Clinical Manager for Essex & Herts Air Ambulance Trust, oversees the day-to-day work of the medical team on board the aircraft and spends his time on this crucial front line.

He said: “The Herts doctor and paramedic team have flown to all corners of the county and have provided advanced care to a multitude of differing cases. From cardiac arrests in areas difficult for land based medical staff to access to very serious accidents such as multi vehicle accidents.

”They have treated the very young to very old and have successfully provided life saving pre-hospital treatment at the road side or home to many patients. It is this dedication and medical skill that has enabled many people of Hertfordshire to return to a normal life with their family.

The pilots can bring the medical team in the helicopter to areas that would normally take a long time for a land ambulance to reach, this can save life-saving minutes before treatment is started.

By carrying the latest drugs and medical equipment the doctor and paramedic are able to provide many of the life-saving skills that would normally be found in a hospital to the side of the patient.

”Equipment such as the Autopulse which is used in cardiac arrest. This will automatically provide chest compressions to the patient, allowing the team to be free to provide other treatment. The training, equipment and drugs are always being examined to ensure that they are up to date and that the very best care is provided for the patient.”

The Herts Air Ambulance was launched on November 5, 2008, following 18 months of hard work by the fundraising team, volunteers and the generous people of Hertfordshire.

However, launching this crucial life-saving service was just the beginning. The charity has since received overwhelming support; to date more than 3,000 businesses and individuals have come on board, making donations and organising events.

In addition to this more than 3,200 people have joined the charity’s Flight for Life Lottery, helping to raise vital funds. It is thanks to these people, and the determination of the fundraising team, that more than £1 million has been raised.

The need to raise funds is relentless as is the need to continually generate fresh and original fundraising ideas. The people of Hertfordshire have embraced this challenge with income being raised through a variety of fantastic fundraising events and initiatives.

The Flight for Life Lottery is a major source of income for the charity and has approximately 29,000 members and since January 1998 it has raised more than £8.4 million. More than 10,500 people have been lottery prize winners from areas including Stevenage, Hitchin and Waltham Cross. More than £1.2 million has been paid out in prize money.

Jane Gurney, executive director of Essex and Herts Air Ambulance Trust said: “The past two years have been quite a journey and we have been amazed by the hard work and dedication of all those who have been involved. We would like to say a big thank you to our fantastic supporters who have helped to raise vital funds not only to launch the aircraft but to also keep it flying.

”We are so excited to be celebrating the second anniversary of the Herts Air Ambulance with those who have made it all possible – the people of Hertfordshire.

”With the current financial climate we really do appreciate and need their help to ensure that we keep this essential service for the County. Without their continued support we simply can’t save lives.”

The Herts Air Ambulance has already made a difference to individuals across the county and the aim of the charity to keep this service flying for those who may need it in the future.

It costs in the region of £130,000 every month to cover all charitable costs and aircraft operations. The continued support of the people of Hertfordshire is critical now more than ever and the Charity continues to need help, generosity and goodwill of the people and businesses of the County to ensure that the service remains operational.

If you would like to support Herts Air Ambulance whether it be joining the Flight for Lottery for just £1 a week, volunteering or hosting a dinner party as part of the Great Herts Feast then simply visit HertsAirAmbulance.uk.com or call 0845 2417 690.