Revealed: number of times NI Air Ambulance has been tasked in first year
Just a year after taking to the skies, Northern Ireland's air ambulance has already been tasked to almost 400 emergency call-outs.
The Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS), run by charity Air Ambulance NI in partnership with the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service, has provided critical advanced care to scores of patients.
Between July 2017 and June 22 this year, the air ambulance was tasked to 380 emergency missions – around 50% of them road traffic collisions.
The first anniversary of the air ambulance’s inaugural rescue mission falls this Sunday, July 22.
“During the first year, our HEMS team have been able to reach hundreds of patients be it at the roadside, farm yard or even the city centre, providing clinical interventions and life-saving medical treatment at the scene and in the air,” said clinical lead Dr Darren Monaghan.
“We know that patients are alive today due to the care we provide in conjunction with the whole health service.
“We would like to say a huge thank you to the population of Northern Ireland for their support and donations which allow this life-saving service to continue.
“Over the course of our first year, we’ve also been able to welcome many of those who we have helped to our base to meet the team.
“For many this has been an important part of their recovery and this is something we plan to continue as we enter year two, so we would encourage any previous patients to get in touch to arrange a visit.”
From its base at the Maze site near Lisburn, the air ambulance can reach any part of Northern Ireland in approximately 25 minutes.
Over the last year, the air ambulance has flown for over 230 hours and used over 60,000 litres of fuel.
Its primary role is to deliver advanced critical care, benefitting those whose lives are at serious risk following significant injury or trauma, by bringing urgent medical assistance directly to patients.
The charity is using the anniversary to highlight how it requires £5,500 per day to keep the vital service going, meaning £2million must be raised each year.
“We have come such a long way over the past year and are extremely grateful for the generosity and support of the people of Northern Ireland,” said Kerry Anderson, the charity’s head of fundraising.