On Sunday 30th April Team Air Ambulance NI will don their red running vests in support of the charity which aims to save lives, brains and limbs.

The five team relay members are coming together from all over the province and is comprised of Cool FM Breakfast Show co-host Paulo Ross from Ardglass; HEMS Paramedic Mike Patton from Bangor; HEMS administrator Lukasz Karpinski from East Belfast; Alex McKinley, sister of former HEMS patient Kyra McKinley from Omagh and John McMullan, father of the first HEMS patient Connor McMullan from Castlewellan.

On top of training for the relay, they have challenged themselves to raise vital funds for Air Ambulance NI which needs £5,500 daily to sustain the life-saving service.

HEMS Paramedic Mike said: “We are tasked on average twice per day. The main aim of the service is to deliver time critical interventions to patients on scene anywhere in NI. The team can deliver pre hospital emergency anaesthesia, administer pre hospital blood products, and provide advanced pain relief for our patients. Fundraising is necessary to keep our aircraft flying, it is never lost on us that we couldn’t do our job without the generosity of the public. This is why we have decided to take part in the Mash Direct Belfast City Marathon, and we really hope the public will get behind us to support our fundraising challenge”

They will be joined by approx. 800 other runners representing the charity on the day. If you would like to support them with their fundraising endeavours, you can donate at: https://eventmaster.ie/fundraising/pages/HT09136109/

HEMS Doctor Andrew Topping from Hillsborough is going several miles further, by challenging himself to run the full marathon in support of the charity and he’s not limiting himself to just Belfast; “This spring I will be running 2 Marathons in 1 Week in support of Air Ambulance NI – The London Marathon on Sunday 23rd April and the Mash Direct Belfast City Marathon the following Sunday. If you would like to support me in my fundraising challenge, please visit HEMS Doctor, Andrew Topping Taking on HUGE Challenge – 2 Marathons in 1 Week! – JustGiving Or you could challenge yourself and join me and #TeamAirAmbulanceNI on Sunday 30th April at Mash Direct’s Belfast City Marathon, the Team Relay or the 8 mile walk.”

The Air Ambulance NI works in partnership with the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service to provide the HEMS for Northern Ireland. The service operates 12 hours per day, 7 days a week. 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.

If you would like to register for the 8-Mile Walk, Team Relay, Half Marathon or Full Marathon you can do so at belfastcitymarathon.com/ When you register you will have the option to support Air Ambulance NI.  If you tick this box and the charity team will be in touch with your digital fundraising pack and invitation to the helicopter airbase so you can personally see the service you are fundraising for.

If running isn’t your thing, you can also show your support on marathon day by joining their cheer stations along the marathon route. The charity hopes to have 100 volunteers making lots of noise and shaking their poms-poms for the participants. To join in or for more information please call: 028 9262 2677

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