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Dublin: 8°C Friday 27 November 2020
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HSE and Air Corps' new air ambulance makes first call

The Emergency Aeromedical Service is a joint project between the HSE National Ambulance Service and the Irish Air Corps.

The Emergency Aeromedical Service will be based in Athlone for a 12-month trial.
The Emergency Aeromedical Service will be based in Athlone for a 12-month trial.
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

THE NEW air ambulance service jointly run by the HSE and the Irish Air Corps has completed its first call-out.

The Emergency Aeromedical Service was called into action yesterday to treat a woman who had been injured in a farm accident.

The helicopter, which is based at Custume Barracks in Athlone, reached its destination at Castleplunkett, Co Roscommon, 13 minutes after being requested by a medical team treating her at the location.

The patient, aged 26, was treated on board the helicopter while she was being flown to Galway University Hospital, a journey which took 11 minutes.

The programme is originally running on a 12-month basis in order to ascertain if Ireland requires a permanent air ambulance service. Yesterday, Monday, was its first day in operation.

Health minister Dr James Reilly said the pilot programme would allow the HSE to determine exactly the extent and type of airborne medical support that would be required on a longer-term basis.

Dr Cathal O’Donnell, the medical director of the HSE’s National Ambulance Service, paid tribute to the hard work of his unit and the Air Corps to get the service up and running, and said he was pleased that the patient was able to benefit from the rapid transport.

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Gavan Reilly

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