People Power makes HEMS4NI a reality

The HEMS4NI petition
The HEMS4NI petition

After months of gathering signatures for the petition to get an Air Ambulance for Northern Ireland, organisers will present it at Stormont today (Tuesday).

Health Minister Simon Hamilton announced that the air ambulance vision of Dr John Hinds could become a reality, as he gave his commitment to establishing a Helicopter Emergency Medical Service at the end of last week.

Dr Hinds, had long campaigned for a world-class trauma network with a Helicopter Emergency Medical Service at its heart and since his untimely death in July, a 81,000 signatures were secured in a bid to make his dream a reality.

Lisa Hemphill from Portstewart was one of the administrators of the HEMS4NI Facebook page, also handling the signatures on the paper petition spoke about the announcement. “We are obviously delighted that the Air Ambulance will now become a reality and Northern Ireland will no longer be the only area of the United Kingdom without this vital service.

“We will hand in the peition today and are very grateful to have the support of William Dunlop, Phil Read and Liam Beckett when we do so.

“What is vital to us is that we still have some input into how this is run. We need to ensure it is done in the way he wanted and that it is a proper legacy to the work he did.

“There’s still a long way to be before the infrastructure is in place but the first main step has been taken.”