Devonshire freemasons donate £4000 to Devon air ambulance trust

Daisy Hall
Authored by Daisy Hall
Posted: Thursday, April 11, 2024 - 11:43

Devonshire Freemasons were delighted that the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF) were able to match fund a donation of £2000 to make a total donation of £4000 to the Devon Air Ambulance Trust (DAAT).

Devon is a large county with many areas hard to reach when a medical emergency occurs. In 1992 after a huge fundraising campaign by the Mother of a Boy killed when he was knocked off his bike in a rural area DAAT began operation 5 days a week during daylight hours only. This has now expanded to 7 days a week including nighttime operations, from two bases in Exeter and North Devon. In addition, many communities now have village landing sites which have been cleared for use by DAAT helicopters.

Accidents and illness happen and when they do patients, whatever their age, circumstance or location, need specialist treatment fast. The speed with which air ambulance doctors and paramedics can reach a patient, identify their time-critical needs and provide their specialist life-saving treatments and interventions to slow, halt or even reverse the effects of a life-threatening condition, is crucial in helping to achieve a successful outcome.

They also operate two Critical Care Cars which enable the medical teams to arrive quickly by road and are especially useful when responding to incidents in built up areas. They will also  respond when poor weather or essential maintenance prevents the aircraft from flying. These two emergency vehicles are adapted to contain all of the same life-saving equipment as you would find on board the air ambulance.

Last year the two DAAT teams were tasked to 2,226 missions:  1333 by air, 814 by car, and 79 through their Volunteer Responder Scheme – where three of their paramedics have kitted their personal vehicles out so they can still attend emergencies even when they aren’t working! Their annual running costs are around £11.5 million.

W Bro Anthony Eldred (Provincial Charity Steward for Devonshire):

“At our recent visit to the airbase at Chumleigh, It was a privilege to meet some of the DAA team and see first hand the equipment that our grant helped to fund. The enthusiasm and dedication of the DAA operational and admin teams was obvious.

The importance of the support they offer to our community here in Devon cannot be overstated with so many lives affected and even saved, this was emphasised by the helicopter lifting during our visit to attend yet another serious medical emergency somewhere in our county.”

W Bro Timothy Golder (Assistant Provincial Grand Master for Devonshire):

"The point was made very strongly that the Air Ambulance service has evolved so that it is now able to deliver a wide range of A&E interventions direct to patients at the time of critical need.  This was illustrated by the highly sophisticated equipment and fully trained medical staff that the Air Ambulance carries."

Matthew Bell ( Director of Public engagement Devon Air Ambulance Trust ):

"We are so grateful to the Provincial Grand Lodge of Devonshire and to the Masonic Charitable Foundation, for their recent donation of £4,000 to Devon Air Ambulance. This is a life-saving amount of money. Last year our crews were the busiest they have ever been, attending more than 2,200 incidents! 2024 is shaping up to be just as busy, with our crews assisting, on average, 6 people a day!

Without supporters like the Devonshire Freemasons, we simply would not be able to respond to these incidents and save lives. We are so grateful for this wonderful donation."