First community Air Ambulance will shortly be making its way to Ireland, after a contract signing this weekend.
Irish Community Rapid Response (ICRR) – a charity dedicated to pre-hospital care – has signed a contract with UK based Sloane Helicopters. The helicopter will be operated by ICRR and is due in Ireland at the end of July, with the air ambulance service expected to begin in August. The ICRR Air Ambulance, will be based at Cork Airport and bring a 10,000 square mile area within 20 minutes of critical care.
The service will include medical crew who can provide life-saving treatment to those who are seriously ill or injured, along with rapid transport to a critical care facility. Medical care and swift transport within the ‘Golden Hour’ – the time in which medical interventions have the greatest impact on saving the life of someone critically ill or injured – greatly increases the chance of survival.
This development will see ICRR’s successful land service take to the air, according to ICRR CEO John Kearney.
“Since 2008, ICRR has developed a network of over 200 volunteer doctors throughout Ireland who can be called on to deliver critical medical interventions which prevent serious injury or death,” states Kearny. “We have ten Rapid Response Vehicles (RRVs) in operation to deliver a ‘land’ emergency service. The land service is also tasked through the 999 / 112 call system. ICRR is now taking to the air. The Air Ambulance service will mirror successful models across the UK and continental Europe where geographically challenging terrain warrants an air response.”
The arrival will complement existing emergency services, including the Athlone based Emergency
Aeromedical Service, operated by the National Ambulance Service and Irish Air Corps.
It is hoped that approximately $2.4 million (€2million) can be raised per annum to fund the service.
“As we approach our 20th year as an established HEMS operator, we are delighted and proud to have been selected by ICRR to provide EMS helicopter services in Ireland”, said Jeremy Awenat, Managing Director for Sloane.