Air Ambulance NI medics cycle 110 miles

Some of the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) crew from the NI Air Ambulance, which is based at the Maze, recently swapped their flight suits for cycling shorts and completed an epic challenge of endurance, the Helipad to Helipad Cycle Challenge.

Tuesday, 5th October 2021, 4:14 pm

The team started from the Helipad at South Western Acute Hospital in Enniskillen and completed an astounding 110miles over two days, finishing at the Helipad at Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast.

The team decided to take on the challenge to raise vital funds after witnessing the massive impact the pandemic had on the charity’s fundraising and subsequent downturn in income.

All novice cyclists, they managed to raise a phenomenal £21,833 which will fund almost four full days of the service.

The Helipad to Helipad Cycle Challenge was a far cry from the crew’s typical day to day duties.

While on shift the team is tasked on average twice a day to life-threatening incidents all across Northern Ireland in city and rural localities alike.

The highly skilled doctors and paramedics are trained to preform critical life-saving procedures at the scene of an incident to save lives, brains and limbs.

Since the inception of the service in July 2017 it has been tasked over 2,430 times.

Kerry Anderson, Head of Fundraising at Air Ambulance NI said: “We are extremely grateful to the HEMS team for what they do for patients every day and now for taking on this challenge to help raise vital funds for the charity.

“Many of the team were completely new to cycling before this so we know it wasn’t an be easy task.

“We’re very proud of the whole team for completing this terrific and tough challenge and we’re extremely humbled by their fundraising success and the support they’ve received.”

The charity Air Ambulance Northern Ireland, in partnership with the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service, provides the HEMS for Northern Ireland.

The service brings urgent medical assistance to anywhere in the province, operating seven days a week for 12 hours per day.

It can get to anywhere in Northern Ireland in approximately twenty-five minutes.

This year, the service experienced its busiest month to date being called out on 78 occasions during July this year.

Air Ambulance NI needs to raise £2million each year to maintain this service so public donations are crucial.

You can support the local charity by hosting your own event, or becoming a Club AANI member through a monthly or annual subscription.

For more information, visit www.airambulanceni.org or contact Air Ambulance NI by email at [email protected] or call 028 9262 2677.