Ireland’s new charity Air Ambulance service has called for major committed public support to sustain it long into the future and deliver its life saving service across Co. Kerry.
The service has been tasked a large number of times to emergency situations in the county since its launch at the end of July and is on track to fly more than 200 missions by the end of this month. This is ahead of its target of 500 missions annually.
Irish Community Rapid Response (ICRR) Chief Operations Officer Lynda Stopford said:
“The ICRR Air Ambulance can arrive at the majority of locations across Co. Kerry within 15 minutes of being tasked through a 999 / 112 call. Evacuation for example from Ballybunion to Limerick University Hospital would take less than 15 minutes and can make a huge difference in the outcome for a critically injured patient.”
“We cannot emphasize enough the importance of the ICRR Air Ambulance service in rural areas, as it is the difference between life and death, or between injury and life changing injury.” The service is surpassing its call-out targets – and is now asking the public to sign up to support it with committed donations.
Ms. Stopford said: “We are looking for 3,000 people across Co. Kerry to sign up to a programme of committed monthly giving. Our campaign is called MISSION POSSIBLE. People can sign up easily at www.icrr.ie and become an ICRR Lifesaver.
“We are asking people to commit to donating €10 per month, or just €2.50 per week, less than the cost of a cup of coffee. This support is essential to enable the Air Ambulance service to continue to operate full-time from its base in Rathcool, Co. Cork.”
The ICRR Air Ambulance is run in partnership between the charity and the HSE NAS. NAS tasks the service through 112 / 999 calls to its National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) and provides the medical crew. However, the helicopter, pilots, air-base and fuel are being charity funded.
“Our service is working very well and being tasked every day. Public support is critical, and we are appealing for strong public and corporate support. The best donor base we can have is a combination of committed public supporters together with major corporates,” Ms Stopford said.