Proud to be Supporting

Devon Air Ambulance

Why Have an Air Ambulance?

Speed

We can get to most of Devon within 10 minutes and the whole of Devon within 15 minutes.

We’ve all heard of the Golden Hour, that critical period immediately after acute illness or accident when patient survival rates are greatest if treatment is provided quickly.  In fact, every minute counts.
We can fly in a direct line to where we are needed.  We are unaffected by traffic queues, difficult to navigate country lanes or off-road locations.

Devon has more than 13,500 km of roadway and more unclassified roads than any other county.

Care at Scene

Our paramedics are highly skilled and in effect bring the emergency department to your side.  Our paramedics are called to the most serious of medical emergencies and sometimes have to undertake procedures or administer drugs which are not always available to land paramedics.

Conveys to the right treatment centre

One of the great advantages of the Devon Air Ambulance is that it can convey patients not only to the closest hospital but when the patient’s condition requires we can fly direct to specialist treatment centres.  (Exeter for Cardiac treatment, Derriford for Trauma incidents, Swansea for Adults with serious or complex Burns and Bristol Royal Infirmary for children).

Inaccessible Places

We can touch down on difficult terrain and in remote locations – Exmoor, Dartmoor, beaches.

We are also able to access places cut off by floods or snow.

Funding

We are proud to be independent of government funding:  it safeguards the service for the long-term and ensures we can deliver what the people of Devon tell us they want from their Air Ambulance and there’s less bureaucracy and red tape = more cost-effective and responsive to the community we serve.

All the operating costs of the service are met by public fundraising and donations.

It now costs £5.5 million annually to keep Devon’s two Air Ambulances flying.

Until November 2016 we could only fly during daylight hours (which meant in the winter our rotors had to stop turning at approximately 4pm).

We have now extended our flying hours until midnight all year round (our Exeter aircraft only).  People don’t stop getting ill after dark and we know we can help more people if we can fly more hours.

Devon’s Air Ambulances are very much an essential part of the community we live in. It’s pretty reassuring to know that we are there; especially if you live in an isolated spot, ride your horse on the moor or drive on Devon’s huge road network.

47% of our missions are to medical emergencies – in particular to cardiac related illnesses – so we really are here for everyone – not just those who do dangerous sports!

DAA Facts

  • Devon has two Air Ambulances who between them respond to approximately 1,200 incidents per year.
  • We respond not just to patients who have sustained serious injuries but also to patients who are suffering from a serious medical emergency, such as a stroke or heart attack.
  • We truly are there for anyone in Devon who may be in need of the service we provide, no matter what their age. We even have a special aviation incubator which can convey seriously ill new born babies to specialist treatment centres.
  • No matter where you are in Devon we are able to respond to you, whether you are out enjoying the countryside, at your place of work or within your home. It isn’t just rural towns and villages that we go to, if you are within a town or city with a large hospital nearby, or even an in-patient already admitted at a hospital and you have urgent need to be taken to a specialist treatment centre we can deliver our service to you.
  • Our helicopters fly at over 2½ miles every minute; 160 miles an hour. This means we can deliver our specialist paramedics in critical care to the scene of an incident quickly and convey the patient to the hospital in the shortest time possible.
  • When a medical need exists, such as with young children, we have the ability to convey an escort with the patient eg mum or dad.
  • Both our aircraft are Eurocopter EC-135 helicopters which have been specifically designed with the role of Air Ambulance in mind.
  • Both our Air Ambulances have a crew consisting of a pilot and two specialist paramedics in critical care. Our paramedics also receive additional on the job mentoring from a team of doctors. We work in partnership with the South Western Ambulance Service Foundation Trust to supply the paramedics who deliver our service.