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Air Ambulance makes maiden Daisy Hill visit

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Air Ambulance makes maiden Daisy Hill visit thumbnailTHE new Air Ambulance passes over Daisy Hill Hospital.

NORTHERN Ireland's new Air Ambulance made its first visit to Daisy Hill yesterday (Monday).

The purpose was to conduct a familiarisation flights and surveys of the landing facilities.

The flights are to help the flight crew establish co-ordinates and routes in a routine preparation for the service which it is hoped will be up and running next month.

Local Trustee of the Air Ambulance charity, Dr Gerard O'Hare, stated: "This is another important step in the establishment of HEMS (Helicopter Emergency Medical Service) for Northern Ireland - the last area in these islands to have this service.

"The operation will be a partnership with the Department of Health who will provide the doctors and medical resources, the NI Ambulance Service who will task the operations on a daily basis and the charity which will provide, maintain and fund the helicopters.

"Annual running costs for the service will be 2m and we are relying on the generosity of local people to help us raise these funds."

Dr O'Hare also stated that in securing the Air Ambulance they had learned how the Mournes and South Armagh in particular were two of the most challenging locations in Northern Ireland for ground ambulance travel times.

A round trip by ground ambulance to either of these locations given the topography of the Mournes and the road challenges of South Armagh can take up to one hour 20 minutes to Daisy Hill, and the tasking of an Air Ambulance will be critical to saving lives in both these locations.

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