Leading local pharmaceutical manufacturer, Accord UK, has provided access to land that meets DAA’s aviation and safety requirements. The site will offer an effective location for DAA to access and receive patients from the community primarily during the hours of darkness, however at times it might be used during the daytime.

Floodlighting, provided by the new lighting system installed by Accord UK, is essential for a Community Landing Site to not only illuminate the area but to aid the team’s assessment and transfer of patients. The lights will be operated remotely when required by the Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) dispatch team, who are responsible for dispatching the Air Ambulance. As part of the installation, illumination to the gateway and access point into the field enables land crews and Air Ambulance teams to move more easily around the site when it’s dark.

To support night operations, DAA is working with communities across Devon to create a network of ‘Community Landing Sites’ (surveyed floodlit landing areas located in the heart of communities). Using the designated site at Accord UK when it’s dark means DAA can land in the Whiddon Valley area of Barnstaple and reach patients much quicker and safer than having to land in a ‘dark field’.

Toby Russell, Community Landing Sites Development Officer said:

“We are delighted to see the new Community Landing Site at Accord UK become operational and this is the first of such sites to be located in Barnstaple. This site will enable us to fly into the Whiddon Valley area during the hours of darkness to deliver enhanced pre-hospital critical care to patients from the community or those involved in RTC’s on nearby roads. We’d like to extend our sincere thanks to Accord UK for developing the site, and in particular to Simon Beer, Facilities Manager at Accord UK, who has helped drive the project and ensure the development and installation of the lighting solution and site readiness, has gone so smoothly.”

Sandra Lee, Managing Director of Operations at Accord UK, said:

“Every day we are focused on making a difference for patients and the landing site is just an extension of this. To be able to support the local community through access to a landing site in the town to help people in need and to also support the life changing work of Devon Air Ambulance is fantastic. We look forward to this collaboration and developing the relationship further.”

Devon Air Ambulance (DAA) operates its lifesaving service both in daylight and during the hours of darkness. Currently operating to midnight every day, operations will be extended to 2am in early 2019 with the Charity’s vision to eventually provide a 24hr service.

Find out more about out Community landing Sites.