Ireland is the only country within the EU that does not have a dedicated Air Ambulance service. Despite some valiant attempts to date we are still without this vital life-saving service. However, after much hard work, combined with the generosity of the Irish public, the All Ireland Air Ambulance (AIAA) organisation expect the new service will be airborne by September 2009.
Our Irleand interviewed AIAA Chairman Derek Rowe about the future Irish air ambulance service.
How Will The Service Be Contacted?
The air ambulance will be attached to the ambulance services, which are reached through call series 999 or 121.
Who Will Decide If The Air Ambulance Will Be Dispatched?
The controller taking the call will decide if the air ambulance will be required for the rescue. Factors taken into account will include the location and terrain of the incident, the nature of the injuries and the specialist attention required.
Mr. Rowe outlined the importance of the service. “For example it takes between 90 minutes to 135 minutes to get an ambulance to an outlying area such as Charasiveen in south Kerry. The chance of fatality dramatically increases after the ‘golden hour’ if the patient does not get the medical attention required.”
A minimum round trip of 180 minutes will result in needless loss of life. The air ambulance can be dispatched within minutes of a call out and quickly arrive on scene. The patient can be brought directly to the most suitable hospital and receive treatment. In most cases this will all occur within one hour of the call out.
Who Will Provide Treatment To The Patient?
It is hoped each flight will have one paramedic and one doctor on board or two paramedics. The project has received encouragement and backing from many medical professionals that regard the service as one that will save lives.
Who Will Pay For The Call Out?
The service is provided free to the patient. Fund raising, sponsorship and donations from around the country and beyond, will cover the entire cost of the service.
How Viable Is This Service?
The first UK air ambulance service was set-up in Cornwall in 1987. Since then similar services were set-up across the UK and there are now 23 divisions providing the lifesaving services across the country. Of those 23 divisions one was set-up but Scottish government and the second is funded by the Richard Branson’s Virgin Group.
The remaining 21 divisions of air ambulance are fully funded by donations and fundraising.
The Air Ambulance Team
Chairman Derek Rowe was a founder of the Cornwall air ambulance service. He feels privileged to be part of the “great team working hard to get the all Ireland Air Ambulance into the air”.
Support This Worthy Cause
Please visit www.allirelandairambulance.ie and make a donation or offer much needed fundraising support.