Staffing issues that led to the “standing down” of the Defence Force piloted Emergency Air Ambulance service in Athlone early this year have been fully resolved.
The Defence Forces suffered a staffing crisis generally in recent years with many personnel leaving to take up positions in the private sector.
Pilots who left the Air Corps also left a major gap in specialized skills needed to man the ambulance service and that led to the “standing down” of the Athlone service for scheduled periods at the end of 2019 and the beginning of 2020.
Capt Jason McDermott who’s one of the pilots involved in flying the helicopter ambulance said the times chosen to halt the service were pre-scheduled, and were due to the fact that thery were statistically the quieter months.
He says the numbers of properly trained and experienced pilots is now back up to what’s needed: