A new Devon Air Ambulance helicopter is ready to bring emergency medical care to patients across the county.
The new H145 was introduced into service on Wednesday (November 11) following years of financial and operational planning from Devon Air Ambulance Trust.
The new air ambulance has a bigger frame than the previous helicopter, giving more space on board, as well as a larger medical compartment to treat and convey a patient.
The extra space means more medical equipment can be carried to the scene of an incident. It can also seat more people, with space for a parent, guardian or trainee clinician or pilot in addition to the usual team of three.
Flight operations director Ian Payne said: “We have designed our own medical fit-out which includes a unique seating configuration where up to three clinicians can all access a patient, when on the ground or in flight, with their equipment and monitors laid out in a systematic way and all within easy reach.
“The bespoke medical interior of the H145 also includes a new single stretcher system to ease the transfer of a patient from the scene of the incident, into our aircraft and then into the hospital A and E making the journey more comfortable for the patient.”
The new H145 will be based at Exeter Airport and the existing EC135 helicopter is based out of the Eaglescott airbase near Torrington.
Both will be providing up to 19 hours of service, operating until 2am every day, seven days a week.
Heléna Holt, Chief Executive of Devon Air Ambulance, said: “The introduction of the new H145 into service is great news for the people of Devon and underlines our ambition to provide the best possible service for critically ill or injured patients.
“All our supporters should be really proud of how they have helped us to plan and deliver these long-term strategic developments to their service and we look forward to the day we can meet our supporters once again to thank them in person.”
Like many charities, Devon Air Ambulance Trust continues to face significant challenges in fundraising due to the continued impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
The charity is encouraging their supporters to consider regular giving, joining their lottery and shopping online with Devon Air Ambulance.
Visit the Devon Air Ambulance Trust website for more information.