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NEWS | UK Devon Air Ambulance UK Air Ambulances

Devon Air Ambulance completed 20,000th mission

20000 reasons to be thankful

Devon Air Ambulance, July 12, 2013 - Having recently completed their 20,000th mission, Devon’s two Air Ambulances have had yet another busy week.

Last weekend for example the crews were called to 8 missions across the county, from Bideford to Salcombe, Newton Abbot to Wheddon Cross. The incidents included falls from ladders, bikes and trees, a road traffic collision involving a motorcycle and a medical emergency.

Heléna Holt, Chief Executive of Devon Air Ambulance Trust, said “We are extremely proud of the air ambulance service we provide and surpassing 20,000 missions is a huge achievement. This is the first of many landmarks for us this year. At the end of July we will be taking delivery of our second owned aircraft. August will see our Devon Air Ambulance On Tour event, and in September we will be celebrating our 21st anniversary with a weekend of public events, with something for everyone.”

Heléna added “Promoting the work we do by highlighting our achievements is essential to show what a huge difference the service makes, but none of this would be possible without the constant support of the community, businesses and friends of Devon who help raise the £4.5 million needed every year to keep both aircraft flying. We want to say 20,000 thank yous on behalf of every single mission flown and the thousands of lives touched.”

Nigel Hare, Operations Director of Devon Air Ambulance Trust added “Devon is a large county with a road network of over 9,000 miles, much of which is single track lanes. This rural environment, coupled with just four district general hospitals providing Accident & Emergency services, is where Devon’s two Air Ambulances really come into their own.

He added “Getting airborne from one of our two airbases, our experienced pilots are able to fly quickly, in a straight line, overflying any traffic jams or obstructions on the ground, to deliver our two advanced trained Paramedics to anywhere in Devon in around just 15 minutes. Our service is here to help everyone, child or adult, in their time of need, whether their need arises from a medical emergency such as a heart attack or a stroke, or as a result of sustaining serious injuries in an accident.”


- Our service responds to both children and adults, with children accounting for over 10% of the patients we respond to each year.

- Our air ambulances helicopters can access patients no matter where they are located within Devon, often landing in villages, towns and on occasion even cities, as well as isolated countryside or one of Devon’s many beaches and coves.

- The first job flown was on 27 August 1992. It costs £3,300 per job flown.

- The Charity was set up in 1986 by Ann Thomas, who lost her son in a bicycle accident.

- The Charity will be taking ownership this August of its second aircraft, having purchased its first EC-135 helicopter 5 years ago. The Charity is proud of the partnership with Eurocopter UK which has enabled us to develop a fully customised solution for both our aircraft, which helps facilitate the best patient care possible, as well as providing a safe and reliable working environment for our crews.

- new Devon Air Ambulance GDAAN will be based in North Devon and will replace the current leased aircraft.

- The Charity will then own both of its aircraft; owning over leasing saves in the region of £12,000 per helicopter per month.

- Devon Air Ambulance on Tour is the new Air Ambulance which will be dropping into various fundraising events put on by the community between 7 and 13 August.

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