10% of Air Ambulance call outs related to farm incidents

HSENI Chief Executive Keith Morrison with Helicopter Emergency Medical Service Operational leader Glenn O'Rourke inside an air ambulance at Air Ambulance HQ in the Maze site, Lisburn.
HSENI Chief Executive Keith Morrison with Helicopter Emergency Medical Service Operational leader Glenn O'Rourke inside an air ambulance at Air Ambulance HQ in the Maze site, Lisburn.

New figures have revealed that 10% of Air Ambulance call outs have been related to farm incidents.

As part of Farm Safety Week, Keith Morrison, Chief Executive of the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland met with members of the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service and thanked them for their work in saving lives on farms here.

The Service was set up as a partnership between the charity Air Ambulance Northern Ireland, and the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service. The Service enables 15 doctors and seven paramedics provided by NIAS to fly on board its aircraft seven days a week bringing advanced clinical interventions, treatments and care to patients all over Northern Ireland before reaching hospital.

The Air Ambulance had its first tasking on 22 July 2017, and in the first year of its operation, farming incidents have accounted for roughly 10% of their call-outs, including its very first call-out, a young boy aged 11 injured on a Castlewellan farm.

HSENI Chief Executive Keith Morrison said: “The majority of serious injuries and deaths on our farms are caused by slurry, animals, falls or equipment. When serious incidents happen on farm it is critical that the emergency services get to the scene quickly. The invaluable work of the Air Ambulance and our other emergency services saves lives and reduces the impact of the most serious injuries.

“Of the 380 call-outs for the Air Ambulance in its first year of operation around roughly 10% of those have been to farming incidents, including a number of deaths, so we would appeal to the farming community during Farm Safety Week to consider the risks you are taking on a daily basis. Please ‘Stop and Think SAFE’ before starting any job on farm. The Air Ambulance is a vital emergency service, but please do whatever you can to avoid it having to land anywhere near your farm.”