Tractor sale near Honiton ends in £1,000 ‘thank you’ for air ambulance to mark man’s rescue anniversary

The sale of a tractor near Honiton has ended with a donation of ‘grateful’ thanks to the Devon Air Ambulance for rescuing two men in separate farming accidents.

Farm machinery salesman Alex Tapp of Awliscombe, near Honiton, who was airlifted by medics 20 years ago after he was crushed by falling straw bales, has donated £1,000 to the lifeline charity from the sale of a tractor, bought by a Cullompton farmer who was rescued by the air ambulance six years ago.

Alex, who sells used farm machinery, said he was ‘forever grateful’ to the Devon Air Ambulance and donated the money to mark the 20th anniversary of his rescue.

He said: “I work in the agricultural industry and twenty years ago this December I had an accident while working on a dairy farm near Cullompton.

“I was 16 years old at the time when a large stack of straw bales toppled over, falling on me, which resulted in me breaking my femur, requiring surgery for a metal rod to be fitted, and also damaging my shoulder.

“Fortunately, Devon Air Ambulance came to the rescue and airlifted me to hospital.

“I am forever grateful for the service they provided that day.”

Alex decided to donate £1,000 from the sale of his next tractor when the coronavirus put paid to him organising a fundraising event for the charity.

Farmer Martin Greenslade, from Cullompton, viewed the red CASE IH CX90 tractor, and when he learned of Alex’s donation plan, revealed he too had been airlifted six years ago.

Alex said: “This December will be twenty years since my accident and with it recently being Farm Safety Week, I was wondering how I could raise some funds to donate to the Air Ambulance who helped me.

“I realised that, with social distancing, an event would not be allowed and that their fundraising income would have been severely impacted this year.

“So, instead, I decided I would donate £1,000 from the sale of my next tractor to Devon Air Ambulance.

“Local farmer Martin Greenslade, from Cullompton, came to view our CASE IH CX90 and upon discussing price I stated my intention to donate to Devon Air Ambulance.

“I couldn’t believe it when he said that he, too, had been airlifted.

“His accident was six years ago – and again, due to a farming accident, in which he fell from a stack of bales.

“Not surprisingly, we were both delighted to know that Devon Air Ambulance would benefit from the donation. This way, everyone’s a winner.”

After handing over the keys of his new tractor to Martin, Alex presented the cheque to Brian Chapman from Devon Air Ambulance.

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