THE East Anglia Air Ambulance will be able to start saving lives at night after unveiling its newest helicopter.

The charity received delivery of a Eurocopter EC135 T2e its first night-capable helicopter to its Cambridge Airport base at the UK Business and Aviation Day 2012 yesterday (Tuesday).

Andrew Egerton Smith, chairman and founder of EAAA, said: "My vision for this vital service is that everything we do is of the highest standard and our mission is to deliver exactly what people need, when they need it.

"We need to constantly innovate and initiate new ideas and, more than anything, we must provide value for money. We are the very first air ambulance in the country to be cleared to fly at night.

"Today marks the next big step for us and I anticipate an exciting future where working with us will be a badge of honour for clinicians who will want to join our team to hone their trauma skills and knowledge and that individuals and companies will continue to support our life-saving and life-changing work."

Tim Page, chief executive, added: "Our move into night flying means that during the winter months when people drive to and from work in the dark, should an accident or medical emergency happen, we will be there, bringing the hospital emergency room to them, wherever they are in East Anglia."

The charity's doctors and paramedics will start intensive training and it is expected that night time flying will be able to begin by the end of the year.

Magpas Helimedix, based at RAF Wyton, used to provide night time emergency cover using the police helicopter until it was grounded in April.

Darryl Brown, Magpas CEO, told The Hunts Post that the charity hopes to continue its night cover by the end of the year when they have secured a new helicopter that meets the Civil Aviation Authority night-flying criteria.

INFORMATION: For further information on the work of the East Anglian Air Ambulance visit www.eaaa.org.uk or for details on how to volunteer or make a donation call 08450 669 999.