The Irish Community Rapid Response (ICRR) led Air Ambulance, has been reduced to a five day only per week service, with immediate effect to ensure the service can continue for another six weeks. However, this cost saving measure is a temporary fix to ensure 6 weeks of continued service before the financial viability of the service is reviewed again.
Operations Manager for the charity funded service, Ruth Bruton said:
“It is absolutely not ideal to have reduced lifesaving cover for the people of Ireland for 2 days per week, however, it ensures 6 weeks more service. Which is 6 more weeks for the ICRR Air Ambulance to gain committed support to keep it flying.”
The ICRR Air Ambulance is estimated to fly 600 missions in 2020, but with the reduced mission days to the service, there could be 184 missions that it will not be in a position to respond too.
“The €400,000 needed to keep us flying has not been raised to date, and with the general election looming this service may be lost with all focus and attention on the election race.” Ms. Bruton said.
Irish jockey – David Mullins, who won the Aintree Grand National in 2016 with Michael O’Leary’s Rule the World, has today thanked the ICRR Air Ambulance for airlifting him after a serious fall in Thurles Racecourse in October last year.
Mullins, aged 23, and from a family steeped in horse racing history, represents the Irish Injured Jockeys alongside Michael Higgins, with an incredible donation to the charity that came to his aid. On 24th October 2019, Mullins broke his T12 vertebrae and clavicle and needed rapid emergency medical help and says he’s extremely grateful for the service.
“The ICRR Air Ambulance came to help me when I needed it the most, a serious fall like I had could have been lifechanging. This donation is an important contribution to their great work, many more people should support this service because you’ll never know if you’ll need it like I did. I didn’t think when I set out to ride that race, that I’d end up in hospital”.
Michael Higgins from the Irish injured Jockey’s Fund added that: “All of racing see the service as a huge addition to the community, in case of emergency. And the horseracing community needs to support this service to ensure its there for all of us into the future”.
The ICRR Air Ambulance, a HEMS service, is run in partnership between the charity, and the HSE National Ambulance Service (NAS), who provide the medical crew. NAS tasks the service through 112 / 999 calls to its National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC). However, the helicopter, pilots, air-base, insurance and fuel are 100% funded through donations to the charity, ICRR. For more information or to support go to www.icrr.ie tel: 0864182144