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£1 million boost for Northern Ireland Air Ambulance service

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Northern Ireland Air Ambulance at the scene on an incident in East Belfast on March 1st 2021 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Northern Ireland Air Ambulance at the scene on an incident in East Belfast on March 1st 2021 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland Air Ambulance at the scene on an incident in East Belfast on March 1st 2021 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

The Northern Ireland Air Ambulance is to receive an additional £1 million in funding, the Department of Health have announced.

The charity, who operate in partnership with the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS), provides the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service for Northern Ireland.

Launched over three and a half years ago, Health Minister Robin Swann described the service as a "critical component" of the NIAS emergency response.

The charity’s operational helicopter carries a crew compiling pilot, doctor, and paramedic, 365 days of the year operating for twelve hours every day

Announcing the additional raft of funding for the charity, Mr Swann added that Northern Ireland has benefitted significantly from the service.

“Many people who have had life-changing injuries, and whose lives have been at risk following significant trauma, have benefitted from the expertise of skilled clinicians who bring advanced critical care to the scene and rapidly transport their patient directly to the regional trauma centre for ongoing emergency care," said Robin Swann.

“I am grateful to those individuals and businesses who have continued to support this service through charitable donations.

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"To date this has proved to be a successful and sustainable model delivered in partnership with the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service, but I also recognise the impact that the pandemic has had on the ability of our charity partner to raise funds in its customary manner.

"This £1million payment will assist Air Ambulance NI with the challenges they are currently facing and assure the ongoing success of the funding partnership that delivers this valuable service. ”

Ray Foran, Air Ambulance Northern Ireland Chairperson, said the pandemic has seen the charity dealing with a significant uptick in callouts.

“Air Ambulance NI is delighted to receive a funding package to help us continue to deliver pre-hospital emergency care to those in most need," he explained.

"Air Ambulance NI has experienced an increase in taskings by almost 20%. We have continued to operate during these challenging times, supporting the Department of Health and Northern Ireland Ambulance Service.

"We would like to thank all our supporters for their continued and ongoing contribution.”


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