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Air Ambulance service ‘a watershed moment’ in emergency response care

The official launch of the Northern Ireland Air Ambulance service last week is “a watershed moment” for emergency response care in Northern Ireland that will undoubtedly save lives, SDLP MLA Justin McNulty has said.

Describing the campaign to establish the air ambulance service as “long and grueling”, Mr McNulty says the determination of people behind the project has ensured emergency services will now reach isolated areas in a fraction of the time, resulting in better patient outcomes.

“Journeys with patients facing acute medical conditions or trauma that would otherwise have taken over an hour can now be completed in minutes, giving those in need of care the best chance of recovery,” he said.

Calling for sustainable funding for the service to be secured, he added: “What’s vital now is that we ensure funding for the service is sustainable and not reliant on public donations to continue. This must be a priority for all parties and underscores the critical need to establish power sharing institutions in the North.”

The air ambulance was called into service during Wednesday’s official launch ceremony when almost 70 people, both adults and children, got into difficulties while rambling in the Mourne mountains.

The air ambulance was among more than a dozen emergency crews, which included ten A&E teams, Mountain Rescue and the Coastguard, that responded to the major incident.