Chudleigh Sports Centre chosen as a site for Devon Air Ambulance Devon night time emergency landings. Councilor and Deputy Mayor Mike Underwood is thrilled that Devon Air Ambulance can now use the Chudleigh Kate Brook Sports Centre for landing at night. This is to facilitate emergency landings, during the hours of darkness, where no other site is deemed suitable or safe. Thanks to the efforts and co-operation of Roger Harvey (Chudleigh Football Club), Mike Moyse (Chudleigh Pétanque Club) and Wil Sprinkel (Chudleigh Cricket Club) agreement was soon reached as to how the practicalities could be managed. Mike was able to organise the required funding for the equipment through the Town Council, another example of the community pulling together for this important project. The lighting system is activated by the pilot, who upon coming in to land can operate the new remote switch gear from the aircraft which turns on the flood lights. This allows a safe landing on a site that the pilots know well having practised a few times to ensure correct landing procedures are adopted. Readers may have noticed some night time activities by the helicopter as it circles and finally comes into land. Ambulances are able to rendezvous with the helicopter by using the Sports Centre car park, the locks of which have been upgraded with the codes now written in “standing orders” for the various crews. A statement from Toby Russell of DAAT confirms that “the lack of suitably lit helipads restricts flying time enormously, particularly in the winter months. The floodlight infrastructure already in place, provided by the Football Club, made Chudleigh a valuable and favoured site for the installation of the necessary remote electrical switching system for night landing”. “Being at the heart of the community, we are delighted to be playing a small part in providing such a valuable community facility” said the Chairman of the Sports Centre Committee, Wil Sprinkel. Toby Russell commented further “The sports ground makes an excellent location. The funding for the remote switching kit to operate these lights has been kindly provided by Chudleigh Town Council and we are very grateful to them, Councilor Underwood and the Club for their support in making this night landing site become a reality.” Mike was very happy to be able to help facilitate this project and quoted that it was another example of Chudleigh organisations working together for the good of the whole and extended community. The Chudleigh and Devon Air Ambulance project is scheduled to be featured on the ITV local news on Monday 17th January. Watch this space!
Councillor Mike Underwood interviewed by
And meeting DAAT