Helicopter night landing site in Colyton cleared for take off

Devon Air Ambulance

Devon Air Ambulance - Credit: Archant

Town launches appeal to raise £3,500 for lighting equipment to help the flying medics

Colyton Parish Council has agreed to help Devon Air Ambulance (DAA) create a night landing site on the town’s Peace Memorial Playing Field.

Now residents are being asked to raise £3,500 towards buying the necessary equipment.

In a message to the community Toby Russell, of DAA, said: “The site at Colyton Peace Memorial Playing Field offers a very good location to land at night as it is a large open space. It offers good access to the community in the event our paramedics need to leave the site on foot to go to a patient and has nearby parking should a patient be brought to the aircraft by land ambulance crew.

“The site has been formally surveyed by DAA staff and this is when we collect important information on the site and any potential hazards, which will be passed onto the pilots and air crew. Having this info ensures our pilots can more quickly assess a landing site well before even arriving there, speeding up the time it takes to get paramedics onto the ground and to a patient.

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“We would like to extend our thanks to the Reece Strawbridge Youth Centre, Colyton Football Club and Colyton Parish Council for helping to develop this community asset for Colyton.”

Mr Russell said the charity has been working hard with communities across Devon to build a network of community night landing sites. These are pre-surveyed, with lighting installed for both safety and practical reasons – to illuminate the area during landing and take-off and to help paramedics when assessing and loading a patient into the aircraft.

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The lights are remotely operated by the Helicopter Emergency Medical Services Team.

There are currently 37 fully operational landing sites up and running, with over a 130 further night landing sites in development throughout Devon.

Mr Russell explained that communities have very much taken ownership of developing their own landing sites, not only part-funding them but also undertaking to ensure they are kept in good order.

Whilst the Charity can provide a grant to cover the costs of installing the lighting at Colyton Peace Memorial Playing Field, the community now needs to raise the funds to purchase the equipment required.

Two local groups in Colyton - the Promote Colyton Group and the Nunsford Nutters - have already pledged their support and the community is being encouraged to take part in fundraising events or make a donation in the various collection boxes throughout the town to raise £3,500 towards the project.

If you would like to make a donation to this important project please contact Colyton Parish Clerk, Liz Berry, on 01297 552460 or colytonpc@tiscali.co.uk

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