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New air ambulance set for Devon Air Ambulance

Filed under: Air Ambulance Costs and Fundraising — Posted by: Richard on December 12, 2011

Patients in need of the Devon Air Ambulance have cause for celebration, with the trust that runs it confirming funds are now in place to purchase a brand new helicopter.

The announcement by the Devon Air Ambulance Trust (DAAT) follows an appeal, in partnership with local BBC radio, which raised the final £602,000 needed.

The cost of an air ambulance, fully adapted to meet the precise needs of the medical aircrews and their patients, is in the region of £4.5 million. With the final amount raised, this can now be bought.

Of the two air ambulances they operate at present, just the one is owned by the DAAT. By securing the funding for another, the trust will save more than £144,000 in lease fees and other associated costs on an annual basis.

In order to raise the money, BBC Radio Devon instigated several fundraisers over a two year period. These included listener sea swims, folk-music marathons and even an auction for GB Olympic diving hopeful Tom Daley’s Speedos.

A critically important service to the mostly rural county of Devon in the west of the UK, the service has flown on more than 17,500 missions since beginning operations back in 1992.

The new helicopter is likely to come into full operation through the summer of 2013.

The adapted Eurocopter EC135, an often used civil rapid response helicopter, will initially be used on daytime missions when it comes online. However, the DAAT is looking at extending its services to cover night-time periods in the future.

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