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ABC Council backs calls for air ambulance after Dr John Hinds tragedy

Petitions endorsing the ongoing campaign for an air ambulance are to be placed in council-owned buildings across the Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon borough.

The decision was taken last night (Monday) at the statutory meeting of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council.

The council backed calls for Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) for Northern Ireland.

And Ulster Unionist Councillor Glenn Barr asked that petitions now be placed in council buildings – which would include theatres, tourist attractions and leisure facilities – to allow residents to add their voices of support.

An online petition – set up after the death in early July of ‘flying doctor’ Dr John Hinds – has so far been signed by more than 63,000.

This decision will swell those numbers, allowing access to those who would be unable to resister their support online.

Dr Hinds, a consultant and anaesthetist at Craigavon Area Hospital, from Tandragee, provided emergency cover at race meetings all over Ireland.

He died following a tragic accident at the Skerries 100 Road Races.

The petition, which will go to Stormont, has been gathering momentum.

And on Thursday, further major progress was made, when Finance Minister revealed it was hoped an air ambulance would “soon” be operational.

It would cost £2.2 million to run each year and be based out of Enniskillen, providing cover right across Northern Ireland.

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