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Air Ambulance Landing Site Appeal

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10:10am 5th June 2014

We are being asked to help find more spots for Cornwall's new air ambulances to land at night.
Forty community sites are already on the books ahead of the launch in December.
Now the charity is starting an appeal to double that.
It is after Pirate FM told you they will not be able to put down at Derriford in the dark - from this winter.

Cornwall Air Ambulance Chief Executive Paula Martin said: "Our crew will usually land the helicopter within metres of the casualty, locating a suitable landing site on arrival at scene.

"Sometimes though it's necessary for the helicopter to rendezvous with a land ambulance to collect the patient for onward travel to hospital.

"Having access to pre-surveyed landing sites can help save vital minutes in pre-flight planning, particularly after dark, allowing the helicopter to set out on the rescue as quickly as possible."

Suitable spaces include fields, sports pitches, school playing fields, car parks, village greens and even large gardens.

Sites need to be clear of trees, overhead wires and other obstructions and would be surveyed for suitability before being added to a directory of Community Landing Sites.

Ms Martin said: "We urge people to bring this up with local councillors, school or sports club committees, farmers or other landowners and work together to find a suitable site in their community, and then to get in touch.

"We don't want people panicking that we'll be concreting their village green or sports pitch. No changes will be made to these sites and in the majority of cases the site may only be used once a year or less. For the casualty at the time, though, that site could be vital."

The charity already has access to around 40 Community Landing Sites across Cornwall, including sports clubs, public parks and even factory car parks.

Helston Cricket Club is an existing Community Landing Site. Bar manager Terry Rustell said: "The air ambulance has been using our pitch as a landing site for many years. In 2013 they landed here 8 times - some years it's more, some years it's less.

"It's our way of giving something back to the charity and to the local community. We've had to have assistance from the Cornwall Air Ambulance at matches before and know just how important it is, particularly to a community like Helston that's so far from the major hospitals.

"We even take the crew a bag of soft drinks and crisps when they land; they often don't get time to stop between missions."

10:10am 5th June 2014

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