Emergency Air Ambulance Missions from the Off-Shore Islands

Air Ambulance Operations Notice 1/08 Dated: 2nd January, 2008.

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There is an agreement with the Coast Guard that they will provide a helicopter for all emergency air ambulance transfers from any off-shore Island to the nearest appropriate acute hospital/Airport. The ambulance service is introducing a standard procedure for dealing with emergency air ambulance requests and missions from the off-shore islands. This procedure will apply to all requests for off-shore island based emergency air ambulance missions throughout Ireland.


On-line advice from Medico, Cork.

Medico, Cork are the HSE unit with a responsibility for providing on-line medical advice to the Irish Coast Guard in relation to supporting ships crews with medical advice. Medico, Cork have agreed to assist the ambulance service in providing similar advice. This will apply in situations where a call for an emergency helicopter transfer is received from an off-shore Island. In order to ensure that helicopter resources are properly used and that the appropriate patients receive this service, the EMC dealing with such calls will use the following procedure:

  1. The EMC will patch the caller through to Medico Cork where a senior emergency care practitioner will discuss the details of the patient's condition with the caller, give appropriate medical advice and provide a direction on the category of the medical emergency
  2. The EMC will respond to this advice by using the resources outlined by category in Annex I to meet the needs of the patient concerned."

Signed: Ray Bonar. Chief Ambulance Officer

  1. The GP, Nurse or any member of the public on the Islands will make their request through the 999 system and ask for ambulance control
  2. The person making the call for an emergency air ambulance should have the following information available in order to expedite the activation of the service.
    • Location
    • Directions to site
    • Numbers of patients
    • Types of injury
    • General weather conditions
  3. The Emergency Medical Controller (EMC) will contact the appropriate Coast Guard Control Centre at
    • Islands between Kerry and Galway Ring Valentia MRCC 066 9476109
    • Islands from Mayo to Donegal Ring Valentia MRCC 074 9370103
    • Islands from Louth to Cork Ring Dublin MRCC 01 6620922
  4. The EMC will make every effort to ensure that the call is authentic and fits into the emergency category
  5. The EMC will liaise with the Coast Guard Control Centre and make the necessary arrangements to ensure that the receiving hospital is notified and that an ambulance is made available to transfer the patient into the medical facility
  6. For recording purposes, each air ambulance mission will be treated as a normal emergency ambulance mission with an air transport flag

Print Copy Document1, Document2

This policy will be implemented from the 1st February, 2008. Signed: Ray Bonar Chief Ambulance Officer Print Copy Op Document1 Op Document2