The surveyed floodlit site will enable Devon Air Ambulance to land in Tavistock during the ‘hours of darkness’ where their clinical teams can reach patients more quickly and safely than if they had to land in a ‘dark field’.

Toby Russell, Community Landing Sites Development Officer at Devon Air Ambulance explained:

'The project with Tavistock Football Club has involved the installation of a remote switching unit alongside the club’s floodlighting, which means that in an emergency, we can operate their lights. This will help our crews by illuminating the area during landing and take-off as well as helping medical teams when moving around on the ground and preparing for the safe loading of a patient into the helicopter.'

'The ability to ‘piggy-back’ on the football club’s lighting offers a cost-effective solution to establish a night landing site in the town and alongside the use ability to use their lights we have surveyed the area so our pilots and crew can appreciate the features of the football club and the landscape around it before they arrive on scene by helicopter.'

Tavistock Football Club were quick to offer their ground to Devon Air Ambulance and enable the switching unit to be installed, and with funding support kindly provided by Tavistock Town Council, the project has enabled the night landing site to become operational so Air Ambulance medical teams can reach local people facing life-changing or life-threatening injuries or illnesses.

Tavistock’s Head of Communications Stuart James said:

'We are delighted to be able to help Devon Air Ambulance, who are such a vital emergency source for the local community. As the town’s only football club, we want to play a bigger role within our community and by helping to keep our local residents safe, giving them every possible chance of survival in an emergency situation - this partnership allows us to do just that.

'Devon Air Ambulance is close to the hearts of several volunteers at the football club and when the charity approached us with regards to becoming a community landing site, we were more than happy to offer our pitch and support the outstanding work that they do for the people of Devon.”

A spokesman for Tavistock Town Council said:

The Council welcomes establishment of a well serviced emergency facility for the town and wider community and thanks the Football Club and DAAT for helping to make it possible.

Toby Russell went on to say:

'We would like to extend a huge thanks to Tavistock Football Club and Tavistock Town Council who have come together to make the night landing site become a reality, it is a great example of a local partnership working for local people. In time, we hope a second night landing site will be established on the opposite side of the town at Mount Kelly which, when combined with this site, will give our medical teams even better access to the town’s residents.'

Devon Air Ambulance now operates until 2am every day (19 hours/day), although the charity’s vision is to extend operations to become a 24/7 service for the people of Devon. Through its work with communities throughout Devon there are now 187 operational night landing sites enabling the service to be delivered by air during the hours of darkness.

If you would like to donate to Devon Air Ambulance and support their life-saving work we welcome your support.