Confirmation that a second air ambulance, based in County Cork, has become operational will allow Athlone service respond to more local emergencies, according to Deputy Denis Naughten.
Deputy Naughten pointed out that it will take pressure off the air ambulance based in Athlone and provide more comprehensive air ambulance coverage throughout the country.
He said: “Ireland had one dedicated air ambulance based at Custume Barracks in Athlone and the development of the second air ambulance at Rathcoole, near Millstreet in County Cork, will allow the Athlone based service to respond to more emergencies in the Midlands and West of Ireland.
“Since the current service was launched in 2012, the air ambulance in Athlone has saved countless lives. Now with a second air ambulance coming on stream, the dedicated team from the Air Corps and National Ambulance Service advance paramedics in Athlone will be able to respond to many more emergencies.
“The development of the second air ambulance, which will be operated by Irish Community Rapid Response, has been a priority for me as it will provide a better emergency service throughout the country with the two air ambulances being supported by the Coast Guard helicopters based in Sligo, Shannon, Waterford, and Dublin.
“This now provides excellent air ambulance cover across Ireland and will be of particular benefit to people in our region who have to travel well over an hour by road to access a major trauma unit in an emergency.”