LONDON – Local lifesaving charity, Devon Air Ambulance (DAA) has launched its 196th Community Landing Site in Bideford, East-the-Water at the Shamwickshire Rovers AFC ground.
This latest surveyed, floodlit landing site will enable Devon Air Ambulance to land safely in the town during the hours of darkness, allowing their specialist medical crew to swiftly reach patients who may be critically ill or injured.
Graham Coates, Landing Site Manager at Devon Air Ambulance said: “It’s great news that a second community landing site in Bideford is now operational and we can reach even more local people by air when they need us most.”
“Our thanks to Sam at Shamwickshire Rovers AFC and Bideford Town Council for enabling this landing site project to come together so successfully.”
Landing site preparation
The project with Shamwickshire Rovers AFC and Bideford Town Council has involved the installation of 3 LED floodlights alongside the football pitch which can be operated remotely in an emergency.
This lighting will assist the Devon Air Ambulance crew by illuminating the pitch during landing and take-off as well as helping medical teams when carrying and loading a patient into the helicopter.
Part of the survey carried out at each DAA community landing site includes noting any obstacles and features in the vicinity. This allows crews a better understanding of the whole landscape surrounding the area before they arrive on scene.
Jude Gubb, Town Councillor and Mayor of Bideford, said: “On behalf of the Town Council I would like to thank everyone who has been involved in arranging for this facility to be provided. It is a most valuable asset for our community.”
Sam Stephens, Shamwickshire Rovers AFC Chairman said: ‘We’re delighted to announce that The Sham Siro is now officially a Devon Air Ambulance night landing site, only the second in Bideford and the first in East-the-Water, a huge boost for the area.”
“We’re hoping it never has to be used but with a site now in the local vicinity it could potentially be lifesaving to anyone needing it in the surrounding area, something we as a club are proud to be able to offer the community!”
Graham Coates added: “The Football Club have not only enabled new lighting to be installed but have also undertaken work to improve access to and from the site by Air Ambulance crews and other emergency services who may be on scene.”
“The Town Council have readily backed this initiative by providing essential funding towards the lighting solution now in place. A great example of local organisations working together for local people.”
If you would like to support the ongoing work of Devon Air Ambulance, please visit their link.