Sunday 22 September 2019

Vintage club gives air ambulance perfect lift-off

John Tarrant

Ireland's first charity-funded air ambulance has taken off from it's Rathcoole base in North Cork, with a plan of delivering pre-hospital emergency care within 20 minutes to those in need.

That follows a breakthrough agreement between the HSE and Irish Community Rapid Response (ICRR) to allow paramedics to bring medical equipment equivalent to that of a hospital emergency room to the scene of life-threatening incidents.  And a number of well known community organisations are backing the air ambulance, including Duhallow Vintage Club who acknowledged their support, following a fund-raiser at the recent Mallow Flower and Garden Show, that raised €1,000 for the cause.

Operations Manager at the Rathcoole Aerodome, Ruth Bruton, told Duhallow Vintage Club members that the charity is funding the leasing and operation of the aircraft with the Department of Health providing the paramedic personnel on board. "The ICRR is a charity and in the contract we have committed to fundraising €2m annually. The air ambulance is expected to respond to up to 500 calls per year, and bring the population of a 10,000 square mile area within 20 minutes of critical medical care", said Ruth.

"Examples of incidents which it expects to respond to include airlifting seriously ill patients from remote areas or accident scenes to hospital. Rathcoole is centrally located to respond to incidents across the southern part of the country", she said. Duhallow Vintage Club spokesperson John O'Sullivan expressed delight on supporting the new concept. "The Irish Community Rapid Response have a wonderful base in Rathcoole to provide a life-saving service and is deserving of support", he said.

The Duhallow Vintage Club headed by Willie Hogan, Rose Kearney and John O'Sullivan, were delighted with close on 200 vehicles supporting the club's initiative at the Mallow event and raising funds for the air ambulance.  Thanks were extended to Alan Collins of the Mallow Flower and Garden Show for his assistance as was appreciation to Newmarket and Mallow Motor Factors; Topline Burtons, Kanturk; Collins Brothers, Liscarroll and Cavanaghs of Charleville in their support of the Cortina Club of Ireland.