Earlier this year Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council provided planning permission for the new Air Ambulance base at the Maze Long Kesh (MLK) site. The Air Ambulance Service for Northern Ireland will launch and operate from July 1st 2017.
Air Ambulance Northern Ireland (AANI) recently welcomed the Mayor and Mayoress to preview their newly established operational base.
Councillor Brian Bloomfield MBE and Mrs Rosalind Bloomfield were shown around the new premises by AANI Chairman, Ian Crowe and AANI Project Officer, Breige Mulholland.
The Air Ambulance helicopter will be based in a hanger at the site and a standby helicopter will be based at St. Angelo Airport, Enniskillen. Building Control Services at Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council has worked with AANI to facilitate the Maze base alongside the Council’s Planning service.
Following the visit, former Mayor, Cllr Bloomfield MBE said: “The Council is delighted to have provided planning permission for the life-saving Air Ambulance service.
“I am delighted to see how this valuable medical expertise will be in place from July based in our Council area and I am pleased that the Council’s planning and building control services were able to support the delivery for this ground-breaking initiative in NI. I wish all the clinical and operational specialists that will operate the Air Ambulance my very best wishes in this life-saving work.”
Chief Executive, Dr Theresa Donaldson, said: “We are pleased to welcome the Air Ambulance operational base to our Council area to respond to medical emergencies across Northern Ireland. The Council is delighted to have supported this very important service”
Ian Crowe, Chairman of AANI said: “The service we are now providing may save between 18 and 50 lives per year in Northern Ireland.
“It is vital that the public continue to support the fundraising of AANI to ensure we reach our annual target of £2.5 million to sustain the service.
“We are delighted that AANI intends to be a long-term tenant of Maze Long Kesh, a site we consider to be one of the most important business development sites in the province.”
The Helicopter Emergency Medical Service will be staffed from a pool of fourteen Consultant Doctors drawn across all Northern Irelands Health Care Trusts.
The medical team will be the responsibility of a dedicated Clinical Lead Emergency Consultant based at AANI in MLK.
This team will be further supported by a paramedic team managed by an Operational Lead and six highly skilled paramedics, with back up to cover holiday and unavailability from four stand-by colleagues.
One of these paramedics will also rotate at the operational base manning the HEMS air desk and will be responsible for tasking the crew on calls.