3k ocean sea swim anyone? Oh ok then!

One throw away comment one day and 10 minutes later I’m signed up for a 3k ocean swim in Paignton on September 7th! All I did was suggest that a 1.5k swim would be a “piece of cake”, a statement that I stand by, however it somehow got twisted into me supposedly agreeing to go ahead with a swim twice the length (I did no such thing). Within minutes I received an email saying “thank you for your entry”, as someone else had been nice enough to sign me up for it. This was quickly followed by a long list of abuse and jokes about whaling fleets and harpoons. I was less keen on being given the moniker Yeo-pedo, somehow the ‘pedo suffix sounds a lot better when it’s about a multi-medal winning Aussie than if it’s about a fat lad from Devon.

Nevertheless, I’m not keen on backing out of a challenge, so I now face 3 months of tedious lap swimming to get in a shape that isn’t round…or at least a shape that might look slightly less worse in neoprene. My swimming stroke of choice will be a poncy breast stroke. I aim to be in a position by the end of July that I can swim 4km in a pool reasonably easily, which will hopefully stand me in good stead when I move to the open water.

Of course it seems silly for me to go through all this and the only people to gain from it are those that delight in taking the p**s out of me (of which there seem to be many). I’ve therefore decided to try and raise money for Devon Air Ambulance Trust.

As a regular motorsport competitor and spectator I’ve been unfortunate enough to see accidents where people require urgent medical attention, often in remote locations. I’ve been to events where an Air Ambulance has been required and no doubt been vital in the treatment of the injured people and I feel that it’s an excellent resource. I’m also aware that one day it may be me that requires these services.
The swim is organised by ‘Geopark Adventure’ and details can be found at http://www.geoparkadventure.com/products/geopark-ocean-swim

Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with JustGiving – they’ll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they’ll send your money directly to the charity. So it’s the most efficient way to donate – saving time and cutting costs for the charity. if you do feel you are able to make a donation towards my epic adventure that would be great! https://www.justgiving.com/mrjanyeo/

Posted in Events, Volunteering | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why do we go to broken ankles?

IMG_1725By Nigel Hare, Operations Director of Devon Air Ambulance Trust

Why we go to broken ankles

If you look at an average day on our incident report (not that there is such a thing as an average day really!) you will see on occasion we respond to patients who we list as sustaining a ‘broken ankle’. As a charity funded service we’re often asked “why do you go to just a broken ankle? Surely that’s just a waste of resources?”

Although we cannot comment on individual cases, with Harrison Ford recently making the headlines after being airlifted from Pinewood Studios by the Thames Valley Air Ambulance with a reported ‘broken ankle’, we thought this would be an ideal opportunity to provide an overview of why we respond to patients with this type of injury.

Breaking any bone can obviously be extremely painful and uncomfortable, however what some people may not appreciate is that the generic term of ‘broken ankle’ more often than not relates to something far more complex than a fracturing, the medical name for breaking, a single bone.

Evolution has seen the bones in our legs and feet become very strong so they are able to hold our weight not just whilst standing or walking but also when we are running and jumping. The forces required to break these bones are often more considerable than those needed to break a bone in other parts of our bodies, such as our wrist, and when attending a ‘broken ankle’ our aircrew often encounter a patient with a serious injury. This is because the lower part of the leg actually has two bones not one, both of which tend to get broken at a point above the ankle rather than the ankle itself being the site of the injury. As such what most people call a ‘broken ankle’ is in fact a double fracture of the leg. This in itself can be a serious injury however the nature of the forces involved in breaking both the bones in the leg often also results in the bones becoming dislocating from the ankle as well just before they break. This fracture/dislocation injury frequently results in the blood vessels supplying the foot becoming ‘kinked’ which means that on top of an already serious injury there can also be a time critical element in needing to restore the circulation to the patient’s foot as soon as possible.

The above situation can be further compounded when a patient sustains this type of injury in one of the many remote areas of Devon such as Dartmoor, isolated coves or on one of our many hundreds of miles country or coastal footpaths. In such circumstances there is a very real potential for what on the face of it may only seem like a ‘broken ankle’ becoming a life changing injury. This is especially true if help isn’t able to arrive quickly, not just relieve the significant pain patients often experience, but to restore any lost circulation to the foot and to airlift the patient to hospital quickly before the elements contribute to hypothermia setting in during the colder months.

Posted in Operational, Patients | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tozers Solicitors get on board

Tozers Solicitors LLP is delighted to have chosen Devon Air Ambulance Trust (DAAT) as their charity of the year for 2014. A little known fact is that a few years ago one of the firm’s partners had to be airlifted following an equestrian accident. Tozers’ previous charities of the year include FORCE Cancer Charity based at the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital and Devon Wildlife Trust.

The phrase that is commonly misattributed to Marie Antoinette of: “Let them eat cake” certainly goes down well at Tozers. Sweet-toothed staff and partners have enjoyed a variety of homemade fare in return for a donation to the charity. The firm’s first fundraising event took place on Shrove Tuesday when the sale of pancakes cooked by Exeter staff for their colleagues raised £100.

The second internal fundraising event finished this week with the 5th and final show stopper round of Tozers’ Great British Bake Off. Members of staff paid to enter the competition and competed during March, April and May by baking sandwich cakes, cupcakes, traybakes, biscuits and their showstopper cakes which had to include something to do with Devon Air Ambulance. The standard and creativity of the bakes was amazing. Once the judging had taken place, the cakes were made available to all members of the firm to sample in return for donations to DAAT and the competition made over £445.

The organisers of the Tozers’ Bake Off, Mark Meleady and Emma Hetherington, along with other colleagues from Tozers visited the Devon Air Ambulance Airbase and helicopter at Middlemoor earlier this year. This visit really brought it home to those who were present the vital service that Devon Air Ambulance provides, how it saves lives on a daily basis and how it does this with no government funding but finances its service by fundraising.

It was great to be able to visit the base with some of my colleagues and I learnt that at the moment, the Devon Air Ambulances do not have the capability to fly at night so, in the winter they have to stop flying before rush hour. DAAT would like to move towards their aircraft flying at night but more funds are required to provide this vital service. After visiting and seeing first-hand how critical patients would be transported in the aircraft so quickly to the right hospital for their medical needs, it reinforced for me how important it is for us to support DAAT in achieving their aim of night flying as accidents and illness do not just happen in daylight hours.

On average it costs £3300 each time the Devon Air Ambulance flies on a mission and on average each aircraft will be called out twice every day. Consequently, as well as Pancake day and Tozers’ Great British Bake Off, members of our firm have taken part in a 3 hour indoor cycling challenge (23 March) and the London Marathon (13 April) to raise money for DAAT. Tozers plans to raise more funds by organising or taking part in the following events: the DAAT Motorcycle Ride Out (13 July); the Commando Challenge (6-7 September) and by writing Wills in National Air Ambulance week in return for a donation to DAAT (22-26 September). Tozers is also the headline sponsor of Exeter’s Great West Run on 19 October 2014 with DAAT being the official local charity of the run and around 20 Tozers’ staff so far have agreed to run in support of DAAT.


Tozers 1A 120314






Showstopping cakes in aid of DAAT by Tozers Solicitors LLP







Cookies for Tozers' Bake Off

Posted in businesses on board | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Familiarisation Training to New Helipad

IMG_1725by Nigel Hare, Operations Director

Recently there was a significant change in how the NHS manages critically ill and injured children within the South West, with all paediatric services moving to the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children (BRHC). As part of this reorganisation a new roof top helipad has been built on top of the Bristol Royal Infirmary which is linked by corridor to the BRHC. To enable our pilots to be prepared for flying patients to this new facility they have undertaken familiarisation.

We have also taken the opportunity to train with the hospital staff to ensure that the safe unloading of patients on this roof top helipad and the transfer of them to the Emergency Department is able to be conducted as safely as possible. Here are a couple of picture from yesterday session.

Although our service already transfers some children direct to Bristol, with the formal introduction of paediatric trauma services at the BRHC the frequency of us doing so is likely to increase and I will of course keep you updated in the future of how our service is able to benefit patients in this manner.

Posted in Operational | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ciaran embarks on his epic journey this weekend! S…

Ciaran embarks on his epic journey this weekend! Show him your support for his ‘Walk to Work’! @walktowork2014 uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web…

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Ian was airlifted in 2002 and now he’s doing the #…

Ian was airlifted in 2002 and now he’s doing the #L2BChallenge this weekend! Wish him well! justgiving.com/Ian-Stoneman

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Tiverton Balloon Festival is going to be one of De…

Tiverton Balloon Festival is going to be one of Devon’s best summer activities! Proceeds in part come to DAAT: tivertonballoonfestival.co.uk

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

We’ve done this fab course with @qsocialmedia why…

We’ve done this fab course with @qsocialmedia why not go along if you can? qsocialmedia.co.uk/events/social-…

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

our 2 helicopters have taken patient each from maj…

our 2 helicopters have taken patient each from major coach rtc this afternoon near #Looe to @Derriford_Hosp thoughts with all involved sb

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment