A new charity is soliciting donations to launch the first helicopter air ambulance in the Northern Ireland province of Ulster.
Belfast-based Alpha 5 Ireland Air Ambulance’s plans call for the helicopter to carry a specially trained trauma doctor and a paramedic, as well as a pilot, copilot, and winch operator. It would be based at Belfast International Airport, a central location from which to cover the province’s six counties.
The charity needs to raise about £500,000 ($983,000) for a deposit on the equipment and £2.5 million ($4.9 million) to start operations. It hopes to order its helicopter in 2009-10. The unit would operate under the control of the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service.