The village of Langtree, in North Devon, celebrates the opening of a community landing site to support Devon Air Ambulance’s night time missions.

Throughout Devon, communities are working hard to establish pre-surveyed floodlit community landing sites which enable Devon Air Ambulance (DAA) to reach patients during the hours of darkness. Using these designated sites means their crews can land in the heart of communities to administer essential emergency treatment.

Last week new floodlighting was installed at the recreation field in Langtree and their community landing site was added to a network of 100 sites now operational in Devon.

Automated illumination

The floodlighting helps illuminate the landing area, allowing medical teams to see clearly as they assess and treat patients. The lights are switched on remotely by the HEMS (Helicopter Emergency Medical Services) Dispatcher based at the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust by making a simple phone call to an electronic control box connected to the switch mechanism at the Community Landing Site. Once the crew have cleared scene, they are turned off using the same procedure.

Mark Glover, Chairman Langtree Parish Council, said:

Our local community has worked very hard to get a night landing light for Langtree and it is fantastic that this has succeeded with the installation of a new light and landing site in the village.  This location is central to Langtree parish and surrounding area and is there to support the emergency services as and when needed. This project has brought the whole community together to support a service which is essential in this part of Devon.

Toby Russell, Community Landing Sites Development Officer at DAA added:

We’d like to extend a big thank you to everyone involved with helping to establish the community landing site in Langtree. The recreation field is the perfect location offering an open flat site with good access for land ambulance crews and for our medical teams to access the patient.

We are very grateful to the community in and around Langtree who have helped establish the 100 community sites now in operation, of which 26 are in North Devon. We’re pleased to see lots more sites currently being developed throughout Devon and we encourage any community that has not contacted us yet to get in touch, so we can help them identify and develop their own Community Landing Site.

Devon Air Ambulance CEO, Heléna Holt, said:

We’re delighted to be able to celebrate the 100th Community Landing Site which has just gone live. Thanks to these sites we have been able to assist 118 patients since we started flying into the hours of darkness in November 2016. Community support has also meant that just a couple of weeks ago, we were able to further extend our flying hours from 12 midnight to 2am, enabling us to help even more patients.

Congratulations to everyone connected with the Community Landing Site in Langtree! We know how much hard work goes into the fundraising, planning and building of these sites. We look forward to more communities getting on board with this initiative as we continue to build our network of sites across North Devon.

Find out more about setting up a Community Landing Site in your area or take a look at our Community landing Site map