On Monday 16th September representatives of AANI [Air Ambulance Northern Ireland] were guests of Omagh M.W.I.  Following prayer and reflection Anne McBain, introduced the guest speakers.  Using slides to illustrate their talk Michelle and Damien outlined how HEMS [Helicopter Emergency Medical Service] was set up in Northern Ireland and how it operates.  Based on the site of the of the former Maze prison, the Air Ambulance is on standby 365 days a year, 12 hours a day. It can reach any part of Northern Ireland in 30 -35 minutes and deliver high quality emergency care within the “golden hour” before a patient reaches hospital.  Each helicopter has on board a pilot, an A & E Doctor and a paramedic who describe their role as “putting the brakes on dying”.   Some 48% of call-outs are to road traffic accidents, with farm accidents the next largest category.   AANI is a charity which takes £5,500 per day to operate – £2 million pa – and depends upon the generosity of the people of Northern Ireland for its day to day operational costs.   The photo shows Mrs Betty Doonan handing over a cheque for £200, on behalf of the Ladies of Omagh M.W.I.