Family of motorcycle racing crash doctor John Hinds in air ambulance vow
The family of a Northern Ireland motorcycle racing doctor who died in a crash have vowed to maintain his dream of an air ambulance to save lives.
Relatives of "flying doctor" John Hinds said they passionately believed in a helicopter emergency medical service and will establish a charity fund to support his vision.
The anaesthetist was fatally injured while providing medical cover at a Skerries 100 practice session in Dublin earlier this month and died in hospital the following day.
He was a strong supporter of the use of helicopters to speed the injured to hospital and a petition has been established supporting his call.
His family said: "We passionately believe in maintaining his dream that Northern Ireland should have a first-rate trauma network with a doctor-led helicopter emergency medical service (HEMS) at its core, so that our survival rates are improved and more lives can be saved.
"Please sign the petition supporting the call. Please do not part with a penny until an official trust or charity fund is launched to support John's vision. This may take months to set up so please be patient.
"It remains our dearly-held wish that John's unique call-sign of 'Delta 7' is once again heard over the ambulance service airways as the HEMS helicopter is cleared to land on the helipad of the roof of the Royal Victoria Hospital, or in a field or country lane to provide life-saving medical intervention to anyone in need."
Dr Hinds, 35, from Tandragee, Co Armagh, worked as a consultant at Craigavon Area Hospital.
He was nicknamed one of the "flying doctors" of Irish motorcycle racing for the lifesaving support he provided during high-speed bike races including the North West 200.
Dr Hinds was a strong advocate for a regional air ambulance and met Stormont health minister Simon Hamilton to discuss the issue.
His family, including partner Dr Janet Acheson, has vowed to continue the campaign for a doctor-led helicopter emergency medical service and urged members of the public to sign the petition in his memory.
They thanked well-wishers who sent cards, team-mates of the Motorcycle Union of Ireland (MCUI) medical team and the staff of Beaumont Hospital, in Dublin, who tended to Dr Hinds and tried their utmost to save his life.
A special word was reserved for members of the biking fraternity, who turned out in huge numbers to accompany his cortege on the return journey from Dublin and to funeral Mass.
"Thank you for including Janet and John in your 'family'.
"John so enjoyed indulging his passions for motorsport and medicine while saving lives in Ireland's highways and byways.
"John always said his weekend office stopped him becoming a boring anaesthetist and our John could never be called boring."