December 9 2013 Latest news:
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
New North Devon based helicopter will in time be able to attend night time emergencies.
THE new Devon Air Ambulance stationed in North Devon will in time carry out night flying missions, it has been revealed.
When the helicopter dropped into Braunton on Thursday, operational director Nigel Hare told the Gazette the enhancements were made possible thanks to the additional money raised through the £852,000 BBC Radio Devon appeal.
He said the new Eurocopter EC135, designation GDAAN, was fully equipped to operate at night, which would happen in around two years once more money had been raised to make this possible.
“We want to extend the hours that it flies and we are absolutely committed to increasing the service rather than losing any day time cover,” he said.
Until now, very few air ambulances have operated at night, due to the extra equipment and specialist training needed.
Currently, medical flights ‘after hours’ fall to the RAF Seaking at RMB Chivenor, but with local concern over what might happen when the service is privatised and moved to South Wales in 2015, upgrading the air ambulance could prove timely.