At a recent gathering at Barton Cricket Club in Torquay, a group of young cricketers and their coaches learnt about the new night landing site for Devon Air Ambulance at their ground and how it can be used to help local people.

The surveyed floodlit night landing site at Cricketfield Road playing field enables Devon Air Ambulance to land in Torquay 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’.

The night landing site project with Barton Cricket Club and Torquay Academy is one of six such night landing sites to be established through a Torbay-wide initiative delivered in partnership with Torbay Council.

Jim Parker from Barton Cricket Club said:

It was fantastic to be asked by Devon Air Ambulance to see if we could help with this project. At Barton we make great efforts and take great pride at being at the heart of the community. This project is a natural fit with that and is a great example of people and partners working together.

'Our youngsters and their coaches really enjoyed hearing about how the Air Ambulance can use our ground when it is dark and had a demonstration of how the new lighting can be activated in an emergency. We also heard that the night landing site has already been used to help treat and convey a patient from the local community to Derriford Hospital, so it’s good to know this project really can help those in need.'

Toby Russell from Devon Air Ambulance said:

'The project with Barton Cricket Club and Torquay Academy has involved the installation of new lighting with a remote switching system which means we can operate the lights at Cricketfield Road playing field in an emergency. The lighting helps our crews by illuminating the area during landing and take-off as well as helping medical teams when moving around the ground and for the safe carry and loading of a patient into the helicopter.

'Added to this, we have worked with the Club and School to carry out improvements to the car park, which will not only help land ambulance crews enter, turn and park at the site, but will also make the unloading and transfer of a patient much easier, cleaner, and quicker.'

The Torbay night landing site partnership project, delivered by Torbay Council and Devon Air Ambulance, is working to establish six new night landing sites including this one at Cricketfield Road playing field. The other sites being established are located at Steps Cross Park, Quinta Playing Fields, Torquay Recreation Ground, White Rock Playing Field in Paignton and Galmpton Football Club.

Toby Russell added:

'We would like to extend a huge thank you to Barton Cricket Club and Torquay Academy for their support in establishing the new night landing site at Cricketfield Road playing field – both organisations have readily embraced what we are trying to achieve for their community and backed the new lighting and access works.

We are also very grateful to Torbay Council who have led the Bay-wide strategic effort and provided the funding required to deliver the new floodlighting and carry out access improvements at the network of community landing sites. These are genuine community partnerships delivering for the benefit of local people.'