Devon Air Ambulance welcomes the 150th Community Landing Site into operation

Mary's picture
Authored by Mary
Posted: Friday, June 19, 2020 - 20:53

The launch of the Newton Ferrers community landing site earlier this weekmarked a significant milestone in the development of a County-wide network of sites which enable Devon Air Ambulance to reach patients ‘during the hours of darkness’. 

These floodlit surveyed landing sites enable the Charity’s medical teams to land in the heart of communities, until 2am every day, to deliver enhanced and critical care to patients. 

The Newton Ferrers community landing site, which is located at Butts Park playing field, has recently had new floodlighting installed which can be remotely activated in an emergency. 

The floodlighting helps illuminate the landing area, allowing medical teams to move around more easily and helps the Critical Care Paramedics assess, treat and load a patient into the aircraft. The lights are switched on remotely by the HEMS (Helicopter Emergency Medical Services) Dispatcher based at the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust by making a simple phone call to an electronic control box connected to the switch mechanism at the community landing site. Once the crew have cleared the scene, they are turned off using the same procedure. 

During a training flight into the Newton Ferrers community landing site this week, Mr Philip Parry-Smith, Chairman of Newton and Noss Parish Council, said: “Newton and Noss Parish Council would like to thank Devon Air Ambulance for helping us establish a night landing site for the Parish at Butts Park. The playing field provides a large open area for their night operations and being close the main road means that the most rapid treatment and evacuation of a casualty is now available to us until 2am every day. 

“This facility is incredibly important in a large rural parish like ours, where people who fall ill, or are involved in an accident, will benefit from a speedy response by the Air Ambulance crews. We are particularly pleased that alongside a grant from Devon Air Ambulance, through the generosity of a local resident the costs to our community for the electrical installation have been paid for, enabling the project to be completed in record time”. 

Toby Russell, Community Landing Sites Development Officer at DAA said: “We’d like to extend a big thank-you to everyone involved with the project in Newton Ferrers and indeed we are really grateful to the huge number of people and organisations that have supported us by establishing the 150 community landing sites now in operation.”

“The timing for the launch of Newton Ferrers site comes as Devon Air Ambulance moves back to full night operations, after a phased re-introduction of the service following the challenges placed on us by Coronavirus. We are clearly very pleased to once again be operating until 2am every day by helicopter and these community landing sites will once again ensure our teams can land at night to deliver urgent medical care to patients across Devon.” 

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