Pilot Tony McAtear of the Irish Community Rapid Response (ICRR) and Mícheál Sheridan, ICRR CEO. Photo: Darragh Kane

High demand for air ambulance

A charity ambulance was tasked to 490 incidents across 13 counties in its first full year in operation.

The Irish Community Rapid Response (ICRR) air ambulance service, based in Rathcoole, works in tandem with the National Ambulance Service to provide both paramedic support and transport to hospital for seriously ill patients.

Figures from the ICRR show that July was the busiest month, with the Air Ambulance being tasked a total of 59 times.

The figures also showed that road traffic accidents accounted for the most incidents around the country, with 94 taskings throughout the year.

Amongst the other incidents responded to were 81 cardiac arrests, 74 general trauma calls, 73 general medical calls, 46 farming accidents, and 29 falls from heights.

While Cork, Kerry and Waterford were the counties most likely to require the service, the air ambulance also provided support to counties Tipperary, Clare, Wexford, Limerick, Leitrim, Kildare, Kilkenny, Offaly, Roscommon and Galway.

According to ICRR Chief Executive Mícheál Sheridan, these statistics clearly show the demand that exists for an air ambulance based in the south of the country.

He said: “The ICRR Air Ambulance is airborne in under four minutes of being tasked and is thirty minutes away from most of the areas within its catchment. Dozens of lives have been saved as a result of the hard work of the crew, Ireland needs this service.”

The ICRR service has two helicopters at its base in Cork, only one of which is operational, with the other acting as a backup.