The Devon Air Ambulance was launched in August 1992 with the help of The Ceri Thomas Appeal. Ann Thomas tragically lost her son Ceri in 1986 and thereafter set about raising money for an Air Ambulance in Devon. Initially the service flew 5 days a week but in July 1997 this was extended to 7 days a week.
In 1999, Sharon Davies launched a larger stretch Bolkow helicopter at The Gipsy Hill Hotel in Exeter meaning the charity could fly for longer and bring an extended service to the people of Devon. In June 2004, a new EC135 helicopter was leased by the charity and this new helicopter helped save the life of 17 year-old Tom Staniford a year later. Tom was involved in a biking accident and suffered similar injuries to Ceri Thomas. Tom was airlifted to RD&E Hospital in Exeter but amazingly went on to make a full recovery.
In May 2005, a second helicopter was launched by the charity based in North Devon. It would fly 5 days a week and ensure that DAAT could come to the aid of even more people at their time of need; this was extended to 7 days a week in 2007.
In January 2010, the charity proudly opened The Steve Ford airbase. Steve was a much-loved pilot for the charity who was tragically killed in a motorcycle accident.
Each year the charity needs to raise in excess of £5.5m a year to fund their wonderful service. Income from their lifesaving lottery forms a significant part of this and further information on the charity can be found on their website www.daat.org.