Cornwall Air Ambulance is appealing to sports clubs across Cornwall who could provide night time landing sites for its helicopter on emergency missions.
The charity aims to find at least 30 new night landing sites that will save crucial minutes of time – and is looking for sports pitches.
There are already 30 ‘pre-surveyed’ locations being used across Cornwall which the crew can launch to within just five minutes. Now the team is hoping to increase this number, so they have more options for landing in darkness.
Chief Pilot at Cornwall Air Ambulance, Captain Adam Smith, said: “During the day we aim to launch to taskings in under five minutes as we can ‘see’ the scene and select a suitable landing spot when overhead. During the hours of darkness, flying a helicopter becomes a greater challenge and having increased pre-surveyed site options will help save us up to 15 minutes of planning time, which can make a crucial difference in a patient’s outcome.”
“The most reliable type of site is anywhere really that has a good clear landing area such as a sports pitch, whether that be football, rugby, or cricket, and it needs to be accessible overnight.
“I believe there to be around 500 sports pitches for example in Cornwall, if we could get 1/5 of these to sign up as landing sites, this would triple our current offering.”
Tim Bunting, Chief Executive at Cornwall Air Ambulance, said: “Having more pre-surveyed and approved landing sites across Cornwall would help to dramatically reduce our launch times at night, therefore making the crew more efficient and meaning they can reach patients faster. This is Cornwall’s air ambulance and this is a really practical way people can help us. Offering landing sites at night across Cornwall will make a crucial difference to our operation, so we’re really hoping that people will step forward to help us out, as they have so often done for the charity.”
Cornwall Air Ambulance has been saving lives for the last 35 years and is tasked to around 1,100 missions every year by air and by road. On average the aircraft can reach a patient anywhere in the Duchy within 12 minutes.
The team of Critical Care Paramedics are on standby 365 days a year, and your AW169 helicopter is even able to fly in hours of darkness.
If you are a sports pitch owner and are keen to support Cornwall Air Ambulance in this way, please contact Andrew ‘Alf’ Evans, Head of Operations, at email@example.com or call 01637 889926.
Main image credit: Ali Auchincloss