A FUNDRAISING appeal is set to be launched to make the King George V playing field in Uplyme a suitable site for the air ambulance to land at night.
Devon Air Ambulance is currently working with communities to develop a network of surveyed floodlit community landing sites, which will enable it to carry out its life-saving service after dark.
Floodlighting is an essential component of a community landing site, for both safety and practical reasons – it illuminates the site during landing and take-off and helps paramedics when loading a patient into the aircraft and during transfer between a land and air ambulance.
Each lighting system needs to incorporate a GSM remote switching system. which is operated using a mobile phone SIM card with each unit being ‘called’ to operate. This system enables the lights to be turned on/off remotely by the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service dispatch team, meaning no-one needs to be on-hand when we fly into a community.
Uplyme Parish Council has agreed to pay for a planning application for lighting to be installed at the King George V playing field, but additional funds of up to £5,000 now need to be raised to complete the project.
Speaking at this month’s meeting, parish councillors expressed surprise at the cost, as they had originally expected it to be in the region of £3,000.
Councillor Becky Turner explained that the cost of creating a trench for wiring for the lighting was more expensive than first anticipated, and the original costs had not included VAT.
She and Councillor Neil Pullinger – who have been working on the project together – said they did not expect the parish council to contribute anymore funding, and instead they would be seeking grants from elsewhere and launching a fundraising appeal, which they hoped local businesses and residents would get behind.
For more details on the project and how to support the fundraising campaign, email parish clerk Ricky Neave on email@example.com