Devon LivingIssue #04

Rapid response

Introducing Devon Air Ambulance, a service that saves hundreds of lives every year.

Devon Air Ambulance Trust is a charity which raises funds to keep both air ambulances in Devon flying. The charity was initiated in 1986 when Ann Thomas’ son, Ceri was tragically killed as he cycled out of his driveway and into the path of a car. Upon asking what could have saved her son, Ann was told that the quicker someone receives treatment the better their chance of survival. This stayed with Ann, and in reaction she launched the ‘Ceri Thomas Appeal’ to raise funds to set up an air ambulance in Devon. Devon Air Ambulance now saves hundreds of lives each year that would otherwise be lost.

In the last 25 years, they’ve managed to buy two helicopters outright, exclusively on the back of public donations. One is based in north Devon and the other in Exeter. The charity was established for and is supported by the people of Devon; with no funding from central government the air ambulance relies solely on our support and in 2017 it cost £6.4 million to keep both helicopters flying. In order to fly into the hours of darkness (currently up to midnight) a network of surveyed floodlit landing sites have been created by Devon communities to support night flying operations. These can be located on a field, sports pitch, or playing field. The lighting solutions at each location are operated remotely via mobile phone and there are currently 78 community landing sites with more coming on board every month. The next step is to extend operating hours further to 2am this year. In 2017 Devon Air Ambulance assisted 990 patients and to date, jointly the helicopters have flown 25,876 missions. Incidents range from road traffic collisions and equestrian accidents to medical emergencies such as cardiac arrests and strokes.

The quick response of Devon Air Ambulance has saved countless lives, allowing patients to be airlifted to the most appropriate hospital for their injuries and receive life-saving treatment in transition.

For more information, and to find out what you can do to help, visit the Devon Air Ambulance website.



5 Sandpiper Court, Harrington Lane,

Exeter EX4 8NS

01392 466666


Get Involved

Devon Air Ambulance holds a variety of events each year that you can get involved with.

Annual Motorcycle Ride Out: Sunday 15th July, just £5 to enter (pre-register at to get your complimentary t-shirt, or they’re available to buy if you register on the day). Sponsored by Bridge Motorcycles.

The DragonBoat Festival:
Sunday 23rd September on the river Exe, The Quay, Exeter.
The boats hold teams of 16, Great for team building and groups of friends! To find
out more information email or call Tracy on 01392 466666

Royal Marines Commando Challenge: 13th to 14th October, raising funds for both Devon Air Ambulance and The Royal Marines Charity. The only opportunity for a civilian to undertake the gruelling Royal Marines’ endurance-training course!
It costs £40 for the 5K course and £50 for the 10K course. For more infomation visit