The Irish Community Air Ambulance is launching a new fundraising campaign to raise €100,000 at this year’s National Ploughing Championships.
The charity – which runs Ireland’s only charity HEMS air ambulance – has set a target of raising €100,000 to provide its ground-based Volunteer Emergency Medical Responders with advanced life-saving equipment in the form of portable ventilators.
The Irish Community Air Ambulance works in partnership with the National Ambulance Service and is tasked to treat serious and life-threatening emergencies, including farm accidents.
The HEMS (Helicopter Medical Emergency Service) Air Ambulance is in Rathcool, Co. Cork, with its Volunteer Emergency Medical Responders on the ground in Dublin, Mayo, Donegal, and Wicklow.
The ground fleet includes five Advanced and Critical Care Emergency Medical Responder vehicles.
They are staffed by volunteer doctors who volunteer their time and provide hospital-level interventions at the scene.
Irish Community Air Ambulance
By responding to the patient in the community quickly, the specialist doctors can intervene earlier, essentially bringing the emergency department to the patient and giving them the best chance of survival.
CEO of the Irish Community Air Ambulance, Micheál Sheridan, said it aims to bring hope to people when they need it most, and its team of Volunteer Emergency Medical Responders is central to that.
“When patients are seriously injured or very unwell, it is sometimes necessary to take over their breathing and place them on a ventilator.”
“Our volunteer medics are amongst a small number of doctors who are able to undertake this procedure outside of a hospital setting in Ireland. By adding these ventilators to each vehicle, we are increasing our life-saving potential.”
Dr Daragh Mathews has been volunteering with the Irish Community Air Ambulance since February 2022. He responds to calls when he is not working in the emergency department at a Dublin-based hospital.
Dr Mathews explains, “It is about getting the care to the patient early, essentially bringing the emergency department to them.”
“Patients can deteriorate quickly, but we are able to intervene. This is really important if you are a long way from the hospital.”
“We can put patients into an induced coma and carry out life-saving procedures. However, we need the very best equipment to be able to do this,” he added.
Head of community and donor engagement with the Irish Community Air Ambulance, Lorraine Toner, said that every euro donated during the National Ploughing Championships will be projected onto a big screen and will represent a kilometre on the map.
“Visitors will be able to tap their card. They can instantly see our Emergency Medical Responder cars and helicopter covering the circumference of Ireland.”
“The aim is to see how many times we can travel around the country during the three days. We want to make it as easy as possible for people to donate and to show people just how far their money will travel.”
For more information about the Irish Community Air Ambulance or to donate, visit this link.