Neil Mercer and his fire service colleagues at George Best Belfast City Airport have recently registered to participate in Deep Riverrock Belfast City Marathon, to raise vital funds and awareness for Air Ambulance NI.

Neil, who is a running enthusiast and lead runner for the marathon, decided to encourage his colleagues to join him on 3rd October, where they have registered for the Team Relay and 2 of them are taking on the whole marathon! You can support the teams fundraising efforts through their justgiving page Airport Fire Service is fundraising for Air Ambulance Northern Ireland ( 

A firefighter at Belfast City Airport for 13 years, Neil said:

“The Deep Riverrock Belfast City Marathon is always a fantastic event and I’m delighted to be taking part again this year, this time with my colleagues.

“Community is at the heart of everything that we do at Belfast City Airport so to be able to raise vital funds for Air Ambulance NI, which provides such a valuable service to the people of Northern Ireland, by pounding the pavements for a few miles with my teammates later this year, was an unmissable opportunity.

“Myself and my colleagues will be putting the extra hours in training for the marathon, and we hope our efforts inspire people to put in extra donations for Air Ambulance NI.”

Grace Williams, Area Fundraising Manager for the Air Ambulance NI Charity, said, “We are so inspired by Neil and his colleagues fundraising efforts and we are humbled they decided to support of wonderful work of Air Ambulance NI in this way. As a service we rely heavily on charitable donations to keep the medical team in the air, delivering critical care to patients who have suffered trauma throughout Northern Ireland- without this type of support, the team simply couldn’t fly. The past year has been especially challenging for fundraising and we’ve seen a dramatic downturn in our income.

I want to take this opportunity to personally thank the Neil and his crew and everyone who is supporting their fundraising efforts.. Despite the current pandemic, our Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) is as busy as ever, responding to on average 2 calls daily somewhere in Northern Ireland. Since we first launched in July 2017, Air Ambulance NI have been tasked on more than 2,266 occasions.

The charity Air Ambulance NI, in partnership with the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service, provides the HEMS for Northern Ireland. The HEMS team attend patients who are seriously ill or injured, bringing emergency pre-hospital care direct to the casualty with the aim of saving lives, brains and limbs. With a daily operational cost of £5,500, we wanted to wish Neil and his team good luck with their training and sincerely thank them for their invaluable support.”

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