General Aviation

Published on June 25th, 2018 | by Mark Dwyer


Contract signed on Ireland’s first community Air Ambulance

Irish Community Rapid Response (ICRR) – a charity dedicated to pre-hospital care – has signed a contract with UK based Sloane Helicopters. The helicopter will be operated by ICRR and is due in Ireland at the end of July, with the air ambulance service expected to begin in August.

The ICRR Air Ambulance, will be based at Cork Airport and bring a 10,000 square mile area within 20 minutes of critical care. The Air Ambulance is a Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) which will be tasked through the 999 / 112 call system operated by the National Ambulance Service at its National Emergency Operations Centre and is being supported by the HSE and Department of Health. The service will include medical crew who can provide life-saving treatment to those who are seriously ill or injured, along with rapid transport to a critical care facility.  Medical care and swift transport within the ‘Golden Hour’ – the time in which medical interventions have the greatest impact on saving the life of someone critically ill or injured – greatly increases the chance of survival.

ICRR CEO John Kearney said that this development will see ICRR’s successful land service take to the air. “Since 2008, ICRR has developed a network of over 200 volunteer doctors throughout Ireland who can be called on to deliver critical medical interventions which prevent serious injury or death. “We have ten Rapid Response Vehicles (RRVs) in operation to deliver a ‘land’ emergency service. The land service is also tasked through the 999 / 112 call system. “ICRR is now taking to the air. The Air Ambulance service will mirror successful models across the UK and continental Europe where geographically challenging terrain warrants an air response.  “It will complement existing emergency services including the Athlone based Emergency Aeromedical Service operated by the National Ambulance Service and Irish Air Corps. “It is hoped that €2million can be raised per annum to fund the service. The people of Ireland have sustained our land based rapid response Volunteer Doctors over 10 years and now we’re calling on the public to support this new life saving air service.”

More information about the ICRR can be found on their website at

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About the Author

Mark is an airline pilot flying the Boeing 737 for a major European airline. In addition he is also a Type Rating Instructor, Type Rating Examiner and Base Training Captain on the B737. Outside of commercial flying Mark enjoys flying light aircraft from the smallest 3 Axis microlights up to heavier singles. He is also an instructor and EASA Examiner on single engines and a UK CAA Examiner. He flies the Chipmunk for the Irish Historic Flight Foundation (IHFF). Mark became the Chairman of the National Microlight Association of Ireland (NMAI) in 2013 and has overseen a massive growth in the organisation. In this role he has worked at local and national levels. In 2015, Mark won ‘Upcoming Aviation Professional Award’ at the Aviation Industry Awards sponsored by the IAA. Mark launched this website back in 2002 while always managing the website, he has also been Editor and Deputy Editor of FlyingInIreland Magazine from 2005 to 2015.

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