Air ambulance reduces service to stay in operation

Air ambulance reduces service to stay in operation
Ed Walsh NAS, Ruth Bruton ICRR, Michael Mullins Irish Injured Jokceys, Donnagh Verling ICRR Pilot, David Mullins Jockey and Paul Traynor NAS.

Irish Community Rapid Response's Air Ambulance has reduced its service to five days per week, in order to stay in operation.

This will ensure that the Cork-based service can continue for another six weeks.

The financial viability of the service is set to be reviewed again.

"It is absolutely not ideal to have reduced lifesaving cover for the people of Ireland for two days per week, however, it ensures six weeks more service. [This] is six more weeks for the ICRR Air Ambulance to gain committed support to keep it flying," said Ruth Bruton, Operations Manager.

The Air Ambulance is estimated to fly 600 missions in 2020, but with the reduced days to the service, there could be 184 calls that it will not be able to respond to.

"The €400,000 needed to keep us flying has not been raised to date, and with the general election looming this service may be lost with all focus and attention on the election race," Ms Bruton said.

The Air Ambulance is a charity-funded service. 

In some good news, the service recently received a big donation from a Tipperary jockey.

Thurles jockey David Mullins, who won the Aintree Grand National in 2016, has thanked the service for airlifting him after a serious fall in Thurles Racecourse last October.

Mr Mullins donated €12,000 as a thank you to Air Ambulance. 

Mr Mullins, aged 23, comes from a family steeped in horse racing history. 

On October 24 2019, Mullins broke his T12 vertebrae and clavicle and needed rapid emergency medical help. He says he’s extremely grateful for the service.

"The ICRR Air Ambulance came to help me when I needed it the most, a serious fall like I had could have been life-changing. 

"This donation is an important contribution to their great work, many more people should support this service because you’ll never know if you’ll need it like I did. 

"I didn’t think when I set out to ride that race, that I’d end up in hospital."

The Irish Community Rapid Response (ICRR) Air Ambulance is run in partnership between the charity and the HSE National Ambulance Service (NAS), who provide the medical crew. 

NAS tasks the service through 112 / 999 calls to its National Emergency Operations Centre.

However, the helicopter, pilots, air-base, insurance and fuel are 100% funded through donations to the charity, ICRR.

Donations can be made to the service through their website, www.icrr.ie. 

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