It’s understood that the move by the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) to withdraw coastguard helicopters from night-time air ambulance cover is rooted in its unhappiness with the situation that saw 24-hour SAR pilots doing double duty for patient transfer.
The coastguard’s fleet of Sikorsky S-92 helicopters was first trialled as a Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) network almost four years ago.
But HEMS rules which limit missions to pilots on 12-hour shifts with 12-hour breaks between shifts will apply from tomorrow (Tuesday 5 September).
Such overnight missions will now be taken on for the next four weeks by the Air Corps, already the primary provider of air transfers for the National Ambulance Service, using fixed-wing aircraft.
The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.