Air Ambulance NI began its operations just seven weeks ago and is already making a life-saving impact.
AANI Chief Executive Patrick Minne revealed the County Antrim-based service has already been tasked 47 times, including 10 missions to its home county.
Patrick said: “Road traffic collisions account for nearly three quarters of the deployments, with the rest split between agricultural, industrial, domestic and sports accidents. Seventy-seven of the calls come from rural areas.”
The service was actually tasked for its first mission ahead of its official launch when a call was received to Northern Ireland Ambulance Service about 11-year-old Conor McMullan who was injured in a tractor accident near Castlewellan. The doctor and paramedic team were on site within minutes and able to treat and stabilise Conor at the scene, before flying him to Belfast in a journey lasting eight minutes. He is now recovering well.
The Air Ambulance NI service is provided seven days a week during daylight hours and as a local charity needs £2m a year to keep it going. Kerry Anderson, Head of Fundraising, said: “Any one of us might need it, so it’s vital we keep the service going. The challenge is to raise the £2m to keep it here. That’s why we’re encouraging workplaces to have coffee mornings, community groups to hold events, and individuals to make a donation or volunteer.”
Donations can be made on-line at www.airambulanceni.org and you can call the charity on 028 92622677 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.