Pilot air ambulance service to continue – BREEN

June 1st, 2015 - Pat Breen

Clare T.D. and Chairman of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade Pat Breen has welcomed confirmation that the pilot ‘air ambulance service will continue operations.

The announcement was made earlier by Minister for Defence Simon Coveney and Minister for Health Leo Varadkar who marked the 1,000th ‘air ambulance’ mission with a special event at Casement Aerodrome, Baldonnell.

The pilot Emergency Aeromedical Support Service (EAS) provides dedicated aeromedical support to the National Ambulance Service (NAS), particularly for patients in the west where land ambulance transit times would not be clinically appropriate.

“I am very pleased that this service is being maintained. The provision of an air ambulance is very important in terms of delivering timely medical care to patients, particularly those who are seriously injured or who require immediate transport to hospital. Last year, the service completed 16 missions here in County Clare and it is vital service in cases where patients have to travel long distances or for patients who live in rural areas like West and North Clare.”

The service is currently operated jointly by the Irish Air Corps and the National Ambulance Service, with back-up provided by the Irish Coast Guard. It was set up on a pilot basis, to see if there was a need for a dedicated emergency aeromedical service on a permanent basis. It operates alongside the Air Corps’ inter-hospital transfer service which was introduced in 1964 and carries out approximately 100 missions each year.

ENDS

QUESTION NO: 130

To ask the Minister for Defence the number of missions carried out by a service (details supplied) in County Clare in 2014; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

DEPUTY PAT BREEN.

FOR WRITTEN ANSWER ON WEDNESDAY, 17TH JUNE, 2015.

REPLY

Minister for Defence (Mr. Simon Coveney, T.D.):

The pilot Emergency Aeromedical Support (EAS) service, as operated by the Air Corps, completed 16 missions in County Clare during 2014.