Air ambulance flying high to save lives

Galbally GAA Club and the Irish Community Air Ambulance are to team up for a vital fundraiser, where proceeds will be divided between the South Limerick Club and the charity air ambulance service which has responded to almost one thousand incidents since it was first established in 2009, writes John Barrett.
One such accident happened earlier this year when the local Galbally GAA Club chairman, Tom Quinlan, was airlifted to hospital by the ambulance after suffering serious crush injuries in a tree felling incident near his home.
Tom, who is happily making a full recovery, told the Vale Star, “I am doing fantastic, walking 10,000 steps every day, back driving and able to do light work on the farm. Any of this wouldn’t have been possible only for the brilliant initial medical assistance given by the Air Ambulance Service. They responded to our 999 call and landed very quickly. As advanced paramedics, the air ambulance personnel were extremely calm and transferred me to Cork University Hospital in just 15 minutes.”
Lives saved
It wasn’t, of course, the only occasion that the air ambulance was called into action in Galbally, as at least three other people from the locality benefited from its life saving service over recent years.
Now, the local club is making plans for a special fundraiser over the August bank holiday weekend in association with the Irish Community Air Ambulance, which depends totally on charitable donations to fund its life saving service.
Cardiac arrests have accounted for the most incidents so far this year, followed by road traffic collisions and farming accidents.
A new aircraft purchased by Irish Community Air Ambulance,which has its base at Rathcoole Aerodrome west of Mallow, will go into service this week, offering a greater speed, more patient comfort and the capacity to take on extra fuel, increasing endurance and range.
The helicopter, which can travel up to 186 miles per hour, is capable of flying the length of the country in a little over 90 minutes. The same journey would take up to 8 hours by road.
A public meeting will take place in the Galbally GAA club grounds tonight (Thursday) at 8pm to discuss further prepar-ations.
The meeting will, in line with Government guidelines, take place outdoors, with social distancing in place, and everyone is welcome.