Devon Air Ambulance shortlisted for 3 industry awards 

Devon Air Ambulance has been shortlisted as a finalist in three categories in the upcoming Awards of Excellence organised by Air Ambulances UK  

Sponsored by Airbus, Air Ambulance UK is pleased to announce the shortlist of nominees for the 2022 Awards of Excellence. The annual awards celebrate and recognise the specialist lifesaving skills and commitment of those working tirelessly within and in support of the air ambulance community.  

The annual awards ceremony, which returns after a break due to the Covid-19 pandemic, is being held at Edgbaston Stadium, Birmingham on 14 November and will include a wide range of speakers covering various areas and topics. 

The Independent Awards Judging Panel consists of trauma specialist Professor Karim Brohi, Debra Alcock-Tyler, CEO the Directory of Social Change, Tim Fauchon, British Helicopter Association Chief Executive and Mark Doherty, West Midlands Ambulance Service Director of Clinical Commissioning and Strategic Development. 

The judges deliberated long and hard over some very difficult decisions due to the excellent quality of nominations submitted by Air Ambulance charities across the UK. 

Devon Air Ambulance nominations are as follows: 

Campaign of the year – for the charity’s ‘Help with all your Heart’ campaign which included the launch of a series of free training sessions that took place in 5 locations across Devon earlier this year. These were presented by Devon Air Ambulance’s Enhanced & Specialist Paramedics and were very popular with over 240 people attending. 

The sessions were designed to raise awareness of Cardiac Arrest and to demonstrate how a bystander who is willing to step in and help could save a life. During the sessions, those who attended had a hands-on opportunity to practice effective CPR and using defibrillators as well as a Q&A session with the crew. 

The charity has just announced that following the success of this year’s CPR & defib training, more dates and locations for 2023 are now being planned. You can register your interest to attend a ‘Help with all your Heart’ session here

Charity Team of the Year – for the work of the ‘Community Landing Site Team’. Community landing sites (CLS) are invaluable to Devon Air Ambulance. They are often located in rural communities, which may be difficult to reach swiftly by land crews in an emergency. They can range from a Village green or school playing field to a cricket ground to private land and each one is surveyed to ensure it is safe and suitable for the air ambulance to land in the hours of darkness. Each location is fitted with emergency lighting which can be operated remotely by the approaching crew, enabling them to help identify the landing site and assist the crew when on the ground. 

Devon Air Ambulance’s Community Landing Sites (CLS) Team, all of whom are non-clinicians, have saved many lives! Even during the pandemic, when meeting people face to face was impossible, they continued to develop relationships with local parishioners and councils across Devon, working on several projects to support the installation of further sites. 

Despite none of the team being a clinician, they had a real desire to not only keep our aircrew safe, but to also do everything they could to help our patients receive time-critical care as quickly as possible, and to enable them to reach the specialist treatments centres in the shortest possible time. In rural Devon, distances between centres can exceed 100 miles and represent over a two-hour road journey.  

The team’s unfaltering desire and enthusiasm, coordination, and collaboration with a range of community groups, parish councils and planning authorities has resulted to date in 193 communities within Devon to have their very own floodlit Community Landing Site installed. This number is expected to be over 200 by the AAUK Awards of Excellence presentations. 

You can find about more about the Charity’s Community Landing Sites here

Critical Care Practitioner of the Year – Lee Hilton. Devon Air Ambulance Advanced Paramedics in Critical Care not only dedicate their work to bringing advanced care to patients in time-critical situations, but they are also donating their own free time to the cause as part of a 12-month trial Volunteer Responder Scheme (VRS).

Advance Paramedic in Critical Care, Lee Hilton, has been instrumental in setting up this new initiative where he and two other colleagues are volunteering to support core emergency services across Devon. This means that Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) dispatchers can now draw upon off-duty highly skilled air ambulance clinicians to be the first responders to an emergency they are local to. 

The Volunteer Responders use their own vehicles to respond. This requires the responder to gain appropriate insurance for the purposes of emergency responding, together with ensuring their vehicles are fully serviceable and fit for the purpose of their intended use. This is all funded by the volunteers themselves. 

In addition, volunteers need to be able to reach the scene safely and this requires the use of blue lights and sirens. It costs approximately £5,500 to fully equip one of our volunteers with everything they need to reach and treat patients and Devon Air Ambulance supporters have so far enabled the charity to fund this kit.  

The charity is incredibly proud to be one of just a few air ambulances to launch a scheme of this type and plan to report on the lifesaving difference that their Volunteer Responders are making to local communities in Devon. 

If you would like to show your support of the vital work of Devon Air Ambulance, please click here to donate: daat.org/donate 

The Exeter Daily