herald

Thursday 8 December 2016

Air Corps unit come to rescue with over 100 emergencies

Air Corps crew in action on Monday
Air Corps crew in action on Monday

The Army Air Corps unit undertook more than 100 emergency airlifts last year as they responded to a range of situations, including severe spinal injuries and children in need of immediate transport to hospital.

Their specialised emergency service responded to 64 domestic patient transfers as well as 47 trips overseas.

The 24-hour service was called in on Monday to assist in the transportation of a 44-year-old motorcyclist, who had been injured in a road traffic collision in Cavan.

He was taken via ambulance to a local rugby club, where an Air Corps helicopter then brought him to the Phoenix Park in the capital.

The Air Corps unit touched down on a Gaelic football pitch there, as paramedics and gardai arrived on the scene.

An eye-witness described how emergency responders carefully transferred the man onto a stretcher, which took approximately 15-20 minutes.

He was then moved to a waiting ambulance, where paramedics transferred him to Beamount Hospital, where he is still being treated.

A 24-year-old man has been arrested in relation to the motorcycle collision on suspicion of dangerous driving. He is currently being detained at Cavan Garda Station under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984.

It is believed the man was being chased by gardai when he collided with the motorcyclist, seriously injuring him.

The Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) has also launched an investigation into the collision.

GSOC will examine whether the chase directly resulted in the motorcyclist being harmed.

The Air Corps completed a total of 5,500 missions last year, with the various craft clocking up more than 10,000 hours of flying.

However, there have been several instances of Air Corps craft being interfered with by people on the ground.

The Herald previously revealed how the Irish Aviation Authority and the Defence Forces have recorded at least 170 instances of people targeting aircraft with laser lights.

In one case, an Air Corps helicopter was transferring a critically-ill baby to a Dublin hospital when a laser was aimed at the cockpit.

Luckily the pilot remained in control and completed the journey safely.

rschiller@herald.ie

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