Speaker for 3rd March 2020

President Derick Woods greets Michelle McDaid with Club Treasurer Nigel Semple (R) and Club Joe Alcorn (L).

Coleraine Probus takes to the Air (Ambulance)

Guest speaker, Michelle McDaid, took members on an emergency ride in a helicopter, with the aid of some videos and her recent talk on the "N.I. Air Ambulance Service”.
Although for many parts of the UK, the Air Ambulance Service has been established since the late 1980s. In Northern Ireland, our own service was commissioned in July 2017, to become the twenty fifth unit operating in the UK. Much of this was made possible due to the dedication and campaigning led by the late Dr. John Hinds (see below). Like all other Air Ambulances, it is not Government funded, but depends on public charitable support.

Raising the funds is a mammoth task. Annually it takes two million pounds to fund the service which responds only to serious trauma emergencies. The clinical model is based on a doctor and paramedic working in partnership in the helicopter. The medical staff undertake the roll, on a part time basis alongside their primary posts, in order to maintain clinical and organisational skills and often working on their day off.

Michelle explains how the service works

Since July 2017 to December 2019 there has been 1,250 call outs for our NI Air Ambulance. Two pilots and one engineer form part of the team. There are two EC135 helicopters with onboard technology being continually upgraded. In essence the Air Ambulance transports the hospital to the site of the accident emergency and has the potential of saving annually 18 to 50 lives.

A recent important innovation was the opening of the Royal Victoria Hospital roof top helipad. Two related videos were screened and Michelle reported on two accident emergencies where two lives were saved. Michelle would encourage individuals to gift £2:00 to £10:00 (or more? - WebEd) per month to 'Club AANI'. This would help secure the funding for an important service which would be grounded without public support.

Meet the team!

President, Derick Woods, said that as this was his chosen charity he would like to personally thank Michelle for taking the time to inform and update the Probus members on such an important subject. What else could members do, other than put their hands into their pockets, and make some generous donations!

(As ever, a big 'thank-you' to Graham for providing most of the report)

Why not join 'Club AANI' and help save lives! To find out more, 'Click' the logo below (this will open in a new window).


Read more about Dr. John Hinds: The Air Ambulance legacy of road racing's doctor - 'Click' this link, it will open in a new window.

Take a look at the AANI website: 'Click' the logo below, (this will open in a new window)


Two Fun Facts:-
The first recorded British ambulance flight took place in 1917 in Turkey when a soldier in the Camel Corps who had been shot in the ankle was flown to hospital in a de Havilland DH9 in 45 minutes.

The first regular air ambulance services in the UK commenced in Scotland in November 1933, with a flight from Wideford Airport, Kirkwall Orkney.