Helicopters Magazine

First Community Air Ambulance for Ireland

June 11, 2018  By Helicopters Staff

Irish Community Rapid Response, a charity dedicated to pre-hospital care, signed a contract with UK-based Sloane Helicopters to deliver Ireland’s first community Air Ambulance. The deal will see Irish Community Rapid Response’s (ICRR) successful land service take to the air. The Air Ambulance service is expected to respond to some 500 calls per year.

Pictured right to left: Dave Usher

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. The service will include medical crew who can provide life-saving treatment.

“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,” said ICRR CEO John Kearney. ICRR has 10 Rapid Response Vehicles (RRVs) in operation to deliver land emergency services, which is also tasked through the 999 / 112 call system.

ICRR’s new Air Ambulance service will mirror models across the UK and continental Europe where geographically challenging terrain warrants an air response. It will complement existing emergency services like 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,” said Kearney. “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.”

Sloane Helicopters has been sole Leonardo distributor in Ireland and the UK for more than 23 years, as well as being an Authorised Service Centre. “As we approach our 20th year as an established HEMS operator, we are delighted and proud to have been selected by ICRR to provide EMS helicopter services in Ireland,” said Jeremy Awenat, Managing Director, Sloane.


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