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Last Updated: Tuesday, 30 August 2005, 11:56 GMT 12:56 UK
Air ambulance to move to new home
Devon Air Ambulance
The air ambulance moves to its new home at the start of September
One of Devon's air ambulances is to move to its new home at the region's police headquarters in Exeter.

It is hoped the link-up will help to save running costs - Devon Air Ambulance is totally reliant on donations from the public.

The Air Ambulance Trust said a recent trial of a second air ambulance in north Devon had been successful.

One pilot, two paramedics and an engineer will now operate out of the Middlemoor helipad.

Chief Superintendent Bob Pennington, head of Force Operations, which covers the Air Operations Unit, said: "This move will further strengthen our links with the air ambulance.

"We will be able to share ideas of best practice about piloting and engineering to maximise performance."

We are delighted to be able to help the charity and keep their costs to a minimum
Captain Ian Payne, Devon and Cornwall Police

Captain Ian Payne, Head of the Force's Air Operations Unit, said: "There are obvious efficiencies in the use of ground equipment and base facilities, like hangars, where we can share costs."

Police will help keep the air ambulance's costs to a minimum by leasing part of the new Air Operations Unit building and supplying aviation fuel at competitive prices for the Air Ambulance Trust's newer EC135 helicopter.

"We are delighted to be able to help the charity and keep their costs to a minimum," added Captain Payne.

Local people were informed of plans to base the air ambulance at Middlemoor. The aircraft will not fly at night.

Lyn Paver, chief executive of Devon Air Ambulance Trust, said: "As there is space at the new site at Middlemoor to situate portacabins, we accepted the offer to relocate our airbase earlier than first anticipated."

She said it was "very exciting" to see the unit developing.

The Trust's older Bolkow 105 air ambulance will be based at Belle Vue Flying Club, near Great Torrington.


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