£3k project launched for air ambulance landing site in West Hill

The new Devon Air Ambulance helicopter, which will be based at Eaglescott, coming into land at Braun

The new Devon Air Ambulance helicopter, which will be based at Eaglescott, coming into land at Braunton Recreation Ground. - Credit: Archant

Fundraisers backing a night-time air ambulance landing site in West Hill are hoping the idea will take off with residents, as they bid to raise more than £3,000 for the project.

The new Devon Air Ambulance helicopter.

The new Devon Air Ambulance helicopter. - Credit: Archant

Members of the Otter Vale Probus Club are working with the parish council and primary school to make the playing field accessible for Devon Air Ambulance to land in the village.

The four-figure sum needs to be raised for the installation of a new 10m steel column and two LED lights and electrical items including a remote switching unit.

If it becomes a reality, the initiative would mean the lifesaving charity’s helicopters can land by activating the floodlights from a control centre.

Residents were invited to meet members working to make the project a reality at a drop in session today (Friday) in the village hall.

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Tony Wilkinson, fundraising co-ordinator for the Probus Club, said: “It’s the speed of the treatment that saves lives and the speed of treatment for ambulances coming into the villages that it will help.

“The whole project will save a life. The session is for people to learn more about it. Knowledge is power. They should know what is happening in their village, people will be interested in having a landing site.

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“People of all ages including children may benefit from the landing site being installed.”

He thanked the council, DAA and the school for their support.

Devon Air Ambulances hopes to have up to 250 sites in the county in the next two to three years.

The charity has reviewed the site saying it offers a flat open area and was in a central location.

In a supporting document, Devon Air Ambulance said: “The site offers good access from the air and has nearby parking so that a patient can be quickly transferred via stretcher from a land ambulance to the aircraft.

“Air ambulance medical teams can also easily leave the site on foot to go to a patient in the village.”

The drop-in session will take place between 3pm and 6pm today (Friday) in West Hill Village Hall.

Anyone who wishes to make a donation is asked to send it to 11a, Warren Park, West Hill, EX11 1TN.

Cheques should be made out to West Hill Parish Council and have ‘DAAT West Hill Landing Site’ on the reverse.

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