ICRR Air Ambulance seeks donation of €400,000 & Government assistance to keep operating

ICRR Air Ambulance seeks donation of €400,000 & Government assistance to keep operating

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Lisa O'Donoghue started this petition to Dáil Eireann and

I am asking you to support me in my quest of contacting the Minister of Health, Mr Simon Harris TD and ask him, on behalf of our government to make a commitment of immediate financial support of €400,000 along with ongoing state support in whatever means that you deem appropriate and most beneficial to all involved, on behalf of my government to the Irish Community Rapid Response (ICRR) Air Ambulance in Rathcoole, Co. Cork as they now only have funding remaining for the next 10 days, or it risks grounding the helicopter and it’s vital lifesaving air ambulance across Ireland that has saved countless lives.

I have read their press release and it states that, the ICRR Air Ambulance has flown on over 250 missions in just 5 months. They have helped in excess of 200 patients, their families and communities. An estimated 600 missions could be flown in 2020 to rural locations, towns and cities in our country.

The Air Ambulance must fundraise for the provision of the helicopters, pilots, air base facilities, insurance, firefighting and other operational needs to provide this vital service. Other costs include the VAT costs on the service, that cost the charity hundreds of thousands of Euro each year.

It is stated in the programme for government, following the recommendation of the Trauma Steering Group, chaired by Professor Eilis McGovern that in recommendation 18 “ The HSE should examine how existing HEMS resources can be  enhanced further and developed, recognising the critical role of aeromedical transport in the timely transfer of high acuity patients and the implementation of a trauma system”.

 In recommendation 20, it states that “ The National Ambulance Service should ensure that patients with suspected major trauma are taken directly to a Major Trauma Centre where travel times are within 45 minutes or if travel times exceed this, to the nearest Trauma Unit for rapid stabilisation and subsequent transfer to the Major Trauma Centre if the complexity of their injuries exceeds the capability of the Trauma Unit”.

In recommendation 21, it states that “The National Ambulance Service should enhance pre-hospital care in areas outside of 60 minutes travel time to the nearest Trauma Unit and/or in circumstances where direct transportation to a Major Trauma Centre is required”.

They also made suggestions for improvement of pre-hospital care for trauma patients included: • Requisite staffing in ambulances • More helicopters • Enhance number and condition of ambulances • Enhanced and more frequent training • Quicker response times • More efficient dispatch system • Better public awareness of the role of ambulances • More efficient handover at hospitals

I am just an Irish citizen, that sees the need for this Air Ambulance service in our area. I am in no way minimising the role of the doctors, paramedics, nurses, ambulances, rapid response personnel, first responders or any service that take care of people when they are ill and are in a serious need of immediate attention in a specialised setting. We are exceptionally blessed here in Duhallow with the commitment and care of the medical profession.

I live in Newmarket, Co. Cork which is quiet a distance from a major trauma centre. There are lots of people who live even further away.

I fully understand that there is not funding or financial assistance available for every service. However, this is a life saving service, not only for Newmarket but all of southern Ireland.

As we are fast approaching a date for a General Election, I implore you to give this matter your immediate attention as the ICRR Air Ambulance only has funding remaining for 10 days and the helicopter will be forced to be grounded and the lifesaving service will cease.I would appreciate if you could make contact with ICRR Air Ambulance Operations Manager, Ms Ruth Bruton, which can be contacted on   ruth.bruton@icrr.ie www.icrr.ie and discuss same with her. Her telephone number is (086) 4182144.

 

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