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AIR AMBULANCE SETS €100,000 TARGET TO FUND LIFESAVING EQUIPMENT

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The Irish Community Air Ambulance is launching a fundraising campaign at the National Ploughing Championships to provide its ground based Volunteer Emergency Medical Responders with advanced lifesaving equipment. Pic: John Allen

Visitors to Ploughing Championships urged to donate to help buy portable ventilators 

The Irish Community Air Ambulance is launching a fundraising campaign at the National Ploughing Championships to provide its ground based Volunteer Emergency Medical Responders with advanced lifesaving equipment. The charity has set a target of raising €100,000 to purchase portable ventilators. 

The organisation’s volunteer medics are often called to rural and isolated locations across Ireland which is why it has chosen the National Ploughing Championships as the location to launch the campaign. Visitors to the charity’s stand will be able to tap to donate and will be able to monitor the progress of the fundraiser on a big screen. 

The Irish Community Air Ambulance works in partnership with the National Ambulance Service and is tasked to treat serious and life threatening emergencies. The HEMS (Helicopter Medical Emergency Service) Air Ambulance is based 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. 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, “Our aim is to bring hope to people when they need it most and our 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, responding to calls when he is not working in the emergency department at a Dublin based Hospital

Dr Mathews explains, “It’s 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, which 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”.

The Irish Community Air Ambulance will be exhibiting at this year’s National Ploughing Championships which takes place in Ratheniska from September 20th to 22nd. Up to 300,000 visitors are expected to attend over the three days. 

Head of Community and Donor Engagement with the Irish Community Air Ambulance, Lorraine Toner hopes people will find their stand interesting. She said, “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 and 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: https://communityairambulance.ie/

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