Air Ambulance Week 2021 is taking off from the 6th to the 12th of September to raise awareness of the lifesaving work of air ambulance charities. Air Ambulance Northern Ireland is celebrating this special awareness week on the back of their busiest summer to date.
Air Ambulance NI works in partnership with the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS) to provide the HEMS which rapidly delivers critical pre-hospital care directly to patients with a sudden life or limb-threatening injury. Since the service commenced in July 2017, the adept medical team have been tasked over 2,368 times in total.
July 2021 was record breaking for the local charity as the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) was tasked 78 times, clocking up 44 flying hours in total. In comparison, the service was called out on 65 occasions in July 2020 and on 62 occasions in July 2019.
Glenn O’Rorke, Operational Lead for the service said, “It has been our busiest summer to date with an increase across call out categories. It’s likely this is due to a combination of factors including easement of covid restrictions, increased road traffic, increase in summer sports, and more people at home on staycations. The highly advanced lifesaving skills of our critical care team consisting of consultant doctor, paramedic, as well as a skilled pilot, and the equipment, blood and drugs that we carry, mean that this service brings the hospital to the patient when every second counts towards survival.”
Air Ambulance Week is the only week in the year dedicated to raising awareness and funds for the work of the 21 air ambulance charities right across the UK. This years’ campaign is focussed on the powerful message that ‘Every Second Counts and Every Penny Matters’ in saving the lives of people who suddenly become critically injured or ill.
Marking the occasion, 6 of our local councils are lighting up buildings on Thursday the 9th of September which is Emergency Services Day. Supporting councils are Fermanagh & Omagh, Lisburn & Castlereagh, Armagh, Banbridge Craigavon, Antrim & Newtownabbey, Ards & North Down and Newry, Mourne & Down.
Kerry Anderson, Head of Fundraising at Air Ambulance NI said: “The HEMS is needed on average twice every day following a trauma or medical emergency in Northern Ireland. Whilst we hope we never need it, it is there for any of us, 365 days of the year.
“Although this service forms a vital part of the frontline emergency services in Northern Ireland, our lifesaving missions need your kind and generous support. Air Ambulance NI needs to raise £2million each year, or £5,500 a day. It’s not just the medical team who can save lives. You can be a lifesaver too by donating, hosting your own event, or becoming a Club AANI member through a monthly or annual subscription.”
For more information, please contact Air Ambulance NI by email at [email protected] or call 028 9262 2677.