#MyMoment with Air Ambulance NI

This month’s #MyMoment comes from Comms Consultant - Déarbhla

Charities and the work of the third sector in Northern Ireland has always been something I have been passionate about. From fundraising for charities in my personal time to working with charities through my previous employment, I have always taken a great interest in the work of charities.

Since starting with RNN, I have been privileged to work alongside some great charities through the work of our clients, and this month I attended a client photo call at Air Ambulance NI. Seeing the helicopter, the crew and the charity at first hands makes the services they provide all the more real.

Being able to hear about the wonderful work this amazing charity does, 365 days a year and funded by charitable donations really made me think about the work that must go on behind the scenes to keep AANI operational.

Air Ambulance NI works in partnership with the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS) to provide a Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) with a crew on board comprising of a pilot, a doctor and a paramedic – picked from a small available pool of 15 doctors and 7 paramedics provided by NIAS.

From the charity base just outside Lisburn, the EC135 helicopter can get to anywhere in Northern Ireland in approximately 30minutes - this rapid response that AANI are able to provide is vital and has been lifesaving in many instances.

The team on board are trained to provide the best possible pre-hospital care, both at the scene and whilst transferring the patient to the hospital. In critical situations, the care provided to the patient as well as the speed the patient reaches hospital is of the utmost importance - If a patient reaches hospital within the Golden Hour (60 minutes after their injury) their chances of survival are dramatically increased.

To ensure this service is available, Air Ambulance requires approximately £5,500 per day and £2m per year and being a charitable service, they rely entirely on support and fundraising from the public.

Having a tour around the base, we could see the limited facilities and area in which those who run the charity are able to keep such a wonderful service operational. Unfortunately at the time of our visit the crew were called into action, however seeing the swift reaction of those on board and the speed that they were able to assemble and make their way to a serious incident highlighted all the more reason for fundraising and awareness raising of the charity and their services.