Final countdown to chopper grounding

The Irish Community Rapid Response air ambulance needs immediate donations to cover running costs

AN emergency charity air ambulance, which has assisted patients involved in serious road traffic accidents and other serious incidents in Kerry, has warned that it will be grounded by the end of this week unless urgent funding is provided.

The Irish Community Rapid Response air ambulance has raised just €30,000 of the €400,000 needed in an appeal published through GoFundMe.

“Unless €400,000 is secured by Friday in order to keep the service live and airborne, it will be grounded,” said Operations Manager, Ruth Bruton.

The charity has raised just over €30,000 since KillarneyToday.com broke the news about the impending grounding and the story was extensively shared and quickly spread nationwide.

“We planned for 350 missions in our first 12 months based on mission figure from the State funded air corps emergency aeromedical service in 2018, which saw them carry out 310 missions. In a little over five months, we have flown over 270 missions which raises our

estimates to 600 possible lifesaving missions per year,” said Ms Bruton.

The ICRR air ambulance is provided free to the State and is tasked as part of a national framework for emergency medical response. Currently, this is solely funded through

charitable donations and in 2020, ICRR will have to pay the State hundreds of thousands of euro in VAT.

“The ICRR air ambulance has had phenomenal support from the public to date, which we are very grateful for, but we need even more support from the public to keep this service live,” Ms Bruton stressed.

Donations can be made at www.icrr.ie or through the special GoFundMe page, ‘Keep the ICRR Air Ambulance Flying’.

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