"OUR message is simple. Irish farms are a great place to land a helicopter - you just don’t want it to be our air ambulance."
Those were the words of Mícheál Sheridan, CEO the Irish Community Air Ambulance who have launched a joint campaign in conjunction with Macra na Feirme appealing to all rural communities to exercise care as activity in rural Ireland increases during the summer months.
A busy silage season, increased traffic on the roads and more children moving about farms all combine to present an increased likelihood of serious incidents that could result in the Irish Community Air Ambulance being tasked to rural locations.
Statistics from the Community Air Ambulance show that the summer months are the busiest for the heli-med service, with the highest number of callouts during 2020 occurring in July.
Road traffic accidents account for the most incidents, with farm accidents and falls from heights requiring a regular response from the Millstreet-based service.
So far this year the Community Air Ambulance has responded to 38 farming-related taskings.
The Community Air Ambulance and Macra na Feirme are launching a social media campaign to highlight that while the service is available to those in need, exercising care and engaging in best practice can dramatically reduce the risk of an incident occurring.
"Summer brings with it some of the busiest times on Irish farms, with silage season coinciding with a lot of outdoor activities.
"Not every accident will result in death, but many cause serious injury and all cause disruption," John Keane, President of Macra na Feirme, said.
The Irish Community Air Ambulance works in partnership with the National Ambulance Service, and is within 30 minutes flying time of any location in Munster.