I agree with many of the points raised in a recent editorial on the lack of ambulance cover in the Northern Trust area.
However, I do feel the statement regarding the irony of a hugely expensive emergency flying ambulance was perhaps slightly misguided and maybe a little unfair.
Until recently Northern Ireland was the only part of the UK that lacked a Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS).
It focuses mainly on getting a consultant in emergency medicine and an advanced paramedic to the scene of a call where it will benefit the patient to have certain emergency interventions on scene that a 'road ambulance' crew may not be able to provide. This has been proven to increase the survival rates and quality of life for patients.
Consequently transport time to the major trauma hospital (Royal Victoria) can be slashed - again, a critical factor. The air ambulance has been significantly funded by the generosity of the public and Libor fines from HM Treasury.
I hope that you will appreciate that this is not a luxury, but an essential service we have missed out on for years, and was very strongly lobbied for by the late Dr John Hinds, and subsequently by medical staff and the public across NI.
I feel there is a risk that public opinion may be misguided by generating the idea that this is an optional extra, and that it could harm fundraising efforts.