Emergency Aeromedical Service trial Announced

The Minister for Defence, Alan Shatter, and the Minister for Health, James Reilly, have launched the Emergency Aeromedical Service (EAS), which will be based at Custume Barracks, Athlone.

The project is a 12 month pilot project. Air Corps will provide dedicated aeromedical support to the HSE National Ambulance Service (NAS).

The pilot EAS will focus on the West of Ireland and begins on 4/6/12. The project will be based in the Custume Barracks in Athlone, Co. Westmeath. The Air Corps are providing an EC135 Helicopter and personnel to fly and maintain the aircraft. The NAS is responsible for patient care, provided by NAS paramedics.

The pilot project will allow the HSE know what type of service will be required in the future and for a longer term service in the region.

Minister Shatter said “I am delighted to see the results of all that hard work and cooperation, along with all the planning and training at operational level that has brought us to this point. It is very satisfying to see such an ambitious project come to fruition in such a short time. The initiative is expected to be of invaluable assistance to the National Ambulance Service and will be of real benefit to patient safety.”

Minister Reilly said “The pilot will give us the information to see what type of service will best support the people and the Ambulance Service in the region and how we can, realistically, improve response and transit times for seriously ill people, thus improving outcomes for seriously ill people."

The EC-135 helicopter was chosen as it is classified as a light utility, performance Class 1 Helicopter. It has a low noise signature so it is widely used in built up areas. It is used for similar purposes in many countries around the world.