Senator Frank Feighan has said that the air ambulance or the Emergency Aeromedical Service (EAS) as it is formally known, continues to play a vital role in the region’s emergency response infrastructure as it carried out almost 550 missions in 2017.
“Since the EAS’ was established at Custume Barracks, Athlone in 2012, it has now carried out approximately 2,000 emergency missions in total. The service operates 7 days a week, responding quickly to emergencies where patients needing rapid access to acute services in larger hospitals will be transported quickly to receive the appropriate medical care.
“I strongly campaigned for the introduction of the air ambulance, which continues to save many lives in this region, both adults and children. Many of the taskings often respond to STEMIs, a type of serious heart attack where a coronary artery is completely blocked.
“The gold standard treatment for STEMIs is access to a 24 hour specialist centre such as Galway within 90 minutes of diagnosis, so that treatment to unblock the artery can begin. Usually, the air ambulance flight times to these specialist centres takes little more than twenty minutes to complete.
“The EAS is clearly playing a key role in providing critical air support options in response to major emergencies in the region and I will continue to highlight the possibilities of expanding the service to night-time hours.”