The National Ambulance Service and the Air Corps are about to embark on a service level agreement to provide a HEMS service.
- the Air Corps have for many years provided an inter-hospital transfer service when required, however, in the future they will be available for primary 999 work.
Most likely using an EC135, based in an army barracks in Athlone, during daylight hours 7 days/week.
Single pilot, Air Corps crewman (who is an EMT) and a Health Service Advanced Paramedic will crew it.
The service will be available to several Ambulance control centres covering the midlands and west of Ireland.
Should be a press release soon, it is hoped to be up and running in May.
The driving force behind it has largely been the downgrading of some hospitals in the midlands. The political will appears to be there now, hence the urgency to get "off the ground".