Just 48 hours to save Air Ambulance

ICRR Air Ambulance. (Picture: Paul Daly)

Just two days (as of publication date) remain to save a critical North Cork-based air ambulance service as a lack of funding will force the project to cease. 

The Irish Community Rapid Response (ICRR) Air Ambulance needs €400,000 to stay flying and while charity drive had been put in place, only €30,000 had been raised at the time writing, which means the service will stop saving lives on Friday if the shortfall is not met. 

ICRR Operations Manager Ruth Bruton said that the Government could be the solution to keep the helicopter flying. 

She said: “We planned for 350 missions in our first 12 months based on mission figure from the State funded Air Corps Emergency Aeromedical Service (EAS) in 2018, which saw them carry out 310 missions. 

“In a little over 5 months, we have flown over 270 missions which raises our estimates to 600 possible lifesaving missions per year. With our increased demand, we need support now more than ever.”

The group said that the Aer Corps service, operating from Athlone, receives State funding of approximately €2.6million per year. 

The ICRR believes that the current programme for Government, it is noted of the necessity for an Air Ambulance for the South of the country. 

Mr Bruton added: “The ICRR Air Ambulance is provided free to the State and is tasked as part of a national framework for emergency medical response. Currently, this is solely funded through charitable donations and in 2020, ICRR will have to pay the State VAT to the tune of hundreds of thousands of Euro for this free service. 

“The ICRR Air Ambulance has had phenomenal support from the public to date, which we are very grateful for, but we need even more support from the public to keep this service live. Please donate now at www.icrr.ie or through the special Go Fund Me page, ‘Keep the ICRR Air Ambulance Flying’”.