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01/08/2021

Calls for air ambulance trial in Donegal

Cllr says it could save lives

Calls for air ambulance trial in Donegal

An independent councillor is calling on the Health Service Executive (HSE) to use an air ambulance for a trial period in order to appreciate the advantages that such a service could provide for the people of Donegal. Cllr Michael McClafferty has been a huge advocate of an ambulance air service and has raised the issue on many occasions.

He said it is vital in a county like Donegal where some people are located a long way from their nearest hospital or ambulance depots: “I believe an Air Ambulance is vital depending where some live rurally in Donegal - your home could be anywhere from 30 minutes to more than an hour drive away from your nearest Ambulance depot.
“And what happens then if it’s a busy day or night? You will have to wait a lot longer as history has proven and this can be a big problem when resources are stretched to the limit on any given shift.”
Cllr McClafferty said the air service is one that can save time and in doing so - save lives. He said speed was of top priority when an accident takes place on roads, or on farms or in a workplace.
“Speed is of the essence and is top priority. This period is known as the golden hour where one’s life may very well hang in the balance if in dire need of medical care,” he said.


He said that not having an air ambulance in Donegal is a missed opportunity as the county would greatly benefit from such a service.
“I want to pay tribute also to our Coastguard Helicopters, in particular Rescue 118 as it is known around here and our Air Corps as well. They do great work but I still believe we need our own dedicated helicopter plus fully equipped medical team based locally and fully equipped to deal with any situation where speed is everything, like they have in other countries.”
He said the air ambulance is a service that is vital to a county such as Donegal due to it being so divided in area and with many people living rurally.
He said that at the very least, the idea should be trialed to see what lessons could be gleaned from such an exercise.
The councillor paid tribute to those who work in the ambulance service adding that they carry out vital work. He raised the issue at a recent council meeting and was supported by Cllr Noreen McGarvey.

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