Monday 11 September 2017: This week is Air Ambulance Week – a national campaign used to raise awareness of the work of Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS). Our own local service, Air Ambulance NI, began its operations just seven weeks ago and is already making a life-saving impact.
AANI Chief Executive Patrick Minne said: “The service has already flown fifty emergency missions covering the whole of Northern Ireland. 77% of the calls have been from rural areas, while road traffic collisions account for nearly three quarters of all deployments to date. We’ve also been called to a range of agricultural, industrial, domestic and sports accidents.”
The service was actually tasked for its first mission ahead of its official launch when a call was received to Northern Ireland Ambulance Service about eleven year old Conor McMullan who was injured in a tractor accident near Castlewellan. The doctor and paramedic team were on site within minutes and able to treat and stabilise Conor at the scene, before flying him to Belfast in a journey lasting eight minutes. He is now recovering well.
The Air Ambulance NI service is provided seven days a week during daylight hours and as a local charity needs £2m a year to keep it going.
Kerry Anderson, Head of Fundraising, said, “Whilst no one wants to ever need the helicopter service, it’s great that it’s here and improving long term outcomes for those suffering serious injury. Any one of us might need it, so it’s vital we keep the service going. The challenge is to raise the £2m to keep it here. That’s why we’re encouraging workplaces to have coffee mornings; community groups to hold events; and individuals to make a donation or volunteer. Whatever you can do will help. Let’s all get behind this fantastic service to keep it here for good.”
Donations can be made on-line at www.airambulanceni.org and you can call the charity on 028 9262 2677 or email email@example.com.