Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland air ambulance service called out during official launch

Northern Ireland's air ambulance was called out as the official launch of the new service was taking place.

The new helicopter service is based at the Maze/Long Kesh near Lisburn was officially launched on Wednesday and means emergency paramedics will be able to reach any part of Northern Ireland within 25 minutes now an air ambulance has been introduced.

Last month it was called out following a tractor accident involving a boy, 11, in Castlewellan, Co Down.

Northern Ireland Ambulance Service chief executive Shane Devlin said: "The introduction of HEMS (Helicopter Emergency Medical Service) to our response model is a really positive advance in pre-hospital care throughout the region.

"The advanced medical interventions which can be delivered by our doctors and paramedics in the HEMS team at incidents where life may be ebbing away will further improve survival rates and help to ensure better patient outcomes."

The campaign to create an air ambulance service has spanned many years.

It was a passion of race medic Dr John Hinds - who died aged 35 on July 4 2015, after a motorbike accident.

The launch is the culmination of a 12-year campaign backed by members of the public.

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