This week Air Ambulance NI is celebrating Volunteers Week and sending a special message of thanks to everyone who donates their time to help the medical team reach critically ill patients and provide emergency pre-hospital interventions that can mean the difference between life and death.

As summer approaches, the charity is anticipating an increase in call-outs to sports and leisure incidents. In 2023, an average of 11.5% of calls were related to sports and leisure incidents compared to the rest of the year when this category of call only made up 4.3% of the average month’s total taskings.

Air Ambulance NI is acutely aware that providing this life-saving care wouldn’t be possible without the support of its volunteers who spread awareness and raise funds within their local communities.

Kerry Anderson, Head of Fundraising, said: “We want to send this special message to our incredible network of volunteers to let them know how much their support and dedication means to us.  Quite literally the Air Ambulance would be grounded without you.  Since the beginning of 2024, our volunteers have collectively donated 1580 hours of their personal time to ensure this service remains here for each and every one of us. This phenomenal feat is nothing short of inspirational and we are immensely grateful for every person who has contributed to this total. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you.”

Alan Morrow from County Armagh has been showing his support for the service by volunteering for the past 7 years and said: “Volunteering with the Air Ambulance is a great way to get out, meet people and go to things I never would go to otherwise. There’s no-one who can say they won’t need the help of Air Ambulance sometime so that’s why I think it’s so important and so well received by the people who donate at the events. As a motorcyclist, I can see why this service is so important, so that’s why I volunteer.”

The charity works in partnership with the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS) and since its inception in July 2017, the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) has been called out on 4235 occasions.

Dr Darren Monaghan, HEMS Clinical Lead said, “Reaching a medical emergency in rapid time with highly skilled clinicians enhances patient care and ensures we deliver the best possible outcomes.  From roadside blood transfusions to performing emergency surgery to anaesthesia, the crew is specially trained to deliver pre-hospital emergency care to both children and adults. Outside of HEMS these interventions are normally delivered in a hospital setting. Our team feel privileged to play their part in patient care, working in partnership with our NIAS road ambulance crews and hospital colleagues across the country and we are so appreciative to everyone who makes it all possible. Volunteers play a pivotal role in enabling the Air Ambulance to fly, allowing the medical team to reach these emergencies in rapid time. Thank you for everything you do for the service and for helping to enhance patient care.”

 HEMS operates seven days a week for 12 hours per day. The aircraft can reach anywhere in Northern Ireland in approximately twenty-five minutes. On average, the doctor and paramedic team are tasked twice a day.

There are many ways to support Air Ambulance NI which will truly be making a difference to someone’s life. If you’d like to learn more about becoming a volunteer, please visit: or contact the charity directly on 028 9262 2677.

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