THE Irish Community Air Ambulance has launched its first overseas event and is calling on supporters to bike or hike the Portuguese Camino to raise vital funds next April.
The Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (Hems) is Ireland’s only charity-funded air ambulance. It is on track to complete more than 500 taskings this year. Each mission costs an average of €3,500, all of which has to be raised or donated.
The Hems works in partnership with the National Ambulance Service and is ready to respond to serious incidents and medical emergencies from its base in Rathcoole in North Cork, seven days a week.
Participants on the Portuguese camino will have the option of choosing a 338km cycle or completing a walk of approximately 100km in length.
Each group will be accompanied by a tour guide and a representative from the Irish Community Air Ambulance. The trip will take place from April 23rd to April 30th next year.
Irish Community Air Ambulance chief executive Micheál Sheridan said two people whose lives have been touched by the service have already signed up. ‘Our former patients and their families are among our greatest supporters,’ he explained. ‘We get a great boost meeting those we have helped over the last two years. Our aim is to bring hope to people when they need it most, ensuring that they can get to the hospital that best suits their life saving needs as quickly as possible. However, we need the public’s support to be able to do that. We hope that this event will raise more than €50,000 which will fund at least 15 of our future missions.’
Each participant is asked to raise a minimum of €2,250 which includes return flights, transfers, seven days’ accommodation, as well as breakfast and dinner each day.
The Irish Community Air Ambulance has a dedicated fundraising team who will help participants to reach their fundraising goal. For more information or to sign up, email [email protected]