Ireland’s first community air ambulance has taken a step closer to becoming airborne after Irish Community Rapid Response (ICRR) announced it has signed a contract with UK-based Sloane Helicopters. IRCC said that it will be operating the helicopter, which is due to enter service in August 2018.
The new helicopter will be based in Cork Airport, the ICRR say, and cover an area of 10,000 square miles. It will be tasked through Ireland’s National Ambulance Service at its National Emergency Operations Centre and is being supported by the HSE and Department of Health.
“ICRR is now taking to the air,” said CRR CEO John Kearney. “The Air Ambulance service will mirror successful models across the UK and continental Europe where geographically challenging terrain warrants an air response. It will complement existing emergency services including the Athlone based Emergency Aeromedical Service operated by the National Ambulance Service and Irish Air Corps.”
It is estimated that the service will respond to around 500 call outs per year, for services such as patient retrieval and transfer, trauma patients and emergency medical events.
“It is hoped that €2 million can be raised per annum to fund the service. The people of Ireland have sustained our land based rapid response Volunteer Doctors over 10 years and now we’re calling on the public to support this new life saving air service,” added Kearney.