Air Ambulance appeals for the gift of life this Christmas!

30 October 2023

With just 8 weeks to Christmas, Air Ambulance NI is highlighting the fact that the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service team will be on duty on Christmas day, and every day of the year, there for us all should the worst happen.  During the month of December, the medics anticipate being called upon on over 60 occasions.

Air Ambulance appeals for the gift of life this Christmas!

Glenn O’Rorke, Operational Lead of HEMS said, “As we come into the winter season the profile of missions starts to reflect the time of year and people’s activity.  For example, we may be called out to less sporting accidents at this time of year but more road traffic collisions.  Whatever has caused the critical emergency situation, our commitment to the public is to be there, day in, day out to look after the people of Northern Ireland.  The doctors, paramedics and medical equipment is the provision and governance of the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS), but it’s never taken for granted by our team the support from the public that enables us to fly to the sickest people who need us, on average twice per day.”

Kerry Anderson, Head of Fundraising said, “When most of us will be off work and enjoying time with family and friends, the air ambulance service will continue.  You can play your part by donating, attending our Santa abseil on 10th December, skydive on a date of your choosing, or subscribe a loved one to our charity membership, ‘Club AANI’.  Alternatively, you could stock up on merchandise items as Christmas stocking fillers

If you would rather host your own event with family or work colleagues, simple options include a Christmas Jumper Day, or coffee morning.  There’s a way for everyone to get involved, check out our festive fundraising ideas here and give the gift of life this Christmas.”

The Santa abseil is at Belfast Castle and will involve 40 people donning their Christmas jumper or Santa suit and abseiling 100ft down the castle tower, whilst enjoying views over Belfast.  Registration is £40 with a fundraising target of £100. Sign up here

For an even greater adrenalin rush, consider a Santa Skydive jumping out of a plane at 15,000ft!  During this extreme and exhilarating challenge you will freefall at 120mph before the parachute is deployed and you gently descend for a soft touchdown.  You can register for £99 at and will need to raise a minimum of £550.

The HEMS has been operational for 6 years and during that time has been called out on almost 4,000 occasions.  It is provided by way of a partnership between the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service and the charity, Air Ambulance NI.  Each day the charity needs to raise almost £7,000 to sustain and develop the service. You can contact the charity directly on 028 9262 2677 or by email on