STUDENTS at Coláiste Pobail Bheanntraí were delighted to welcome the Irish Community Air Ambulance recently.
Students had been actively fundraising in support of Ireland’s first-ever charity air ambulance service and in aid of Bantry Inshore Search and Rescue. A cheque was presented by sixth-year students who participate in the Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme.
These students had organised a raffle and a coffee morning in the Bantry Bay Hotel, which raised €1,000. The students made donations of €500 in support of Irish Community Rapid Response (ICRR), a charity dedicated to pre-hospital care that is running the service in co-operation with the HSE National Ambulance Service and in also aid of Bantry Inshore Search and Rescue, a group of volunteers from the local community, comprising shore and boat crew, who provide a round-the-clock service throughout the year aimed at preventing death by drowning.
The students and their chosen charities received widespread support from the community in providing sponsorship and from Ms Dee Byrne and Mr Paudie McSweeney, who were instrumental in helping to organise their fundraising events.
The visit of the Air Ambulance to Coláiste Pobail Bheanntraí was part of a tour of communities to raise awareness of ICRR’s ‘Fuel For Life’ campaign to promote this much-needed service, which is expected to respond up to 500 calls per year and bring the population of a 10,000 square-mile area within 20 minutes of critical medical care.
Hundreds of students witnessed the spectacular arrival of the helicopter in the clear blue skies over Bantry and were in attendance to welcome the crew after their safe arrival on the school’s playing pitch.
They then had the opportunity to see the aircraft and meet with the volunteers in person.
The visit of the Air Ambulance was a hugely memorable experience for the entire school community, but especially for new first year students, and will prove to be inspirational as Coláiste Pobail Bheanntraí continues to actively support charities and good causes in the local community and further afield.