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Devon to get new air ambulance

Filed under: New Air Ambulances — Posted by: Andrew on January 31, 2012

It was on 21st January 2010 that BBC Radio Devon announced it had chosen Devon Air Ambulance as its charity partner and together they hoped to raise the £600,000 necessary to enable the ordering of a second helicopter for this life-saving service.

Almost exactly two years on, following a large number of fundraising events and sponsorship, the announcement was made on 13th January this year that not only had they raised enough for the deposit but also they had exceeded it. The amount raised has reached the staggering sum of £720,386 with money still being received, so the target has well and truly been exceeded.

The Devon Air Ambulance Charity already owns one helicopter, that saves around £10,000 per month in leasing fees, and they decided to buy a second helicopter so that more savings could be made. A new EC113 will be ordered to replace the existing leased helicopter, which is due for renewal in 2013.

The cost of a fully fitted specialist air ambulance is £4.5 million and by buying instead of leasing, the Charity can stipulate the exact specification so that it meets the needs of the Devon Air Ambulance service. This new helicopter will be fitted with night flying equipment and this will allow the charity to apply for permission to undertake night flights, which they have not been able to do because their current fleet of air ambulances are restricted to daylight flights only. This will considerable extend the hours that the service can provide.

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